GREENSBURG – According to a survey conducted by the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, about 75 percent of Indiana respondents indicated they did not have a preparedness kit in their vehicles, including items specifically for winter weather emergencies.
With many Hoosiers traveling this week and winter weather IDHS representatives say now is the time to think about a vehicle safety kit.
“Now is the time to make sure vehicles are ready for winter,” says IDHS Senior Public Information Officer John Erickson. “We encourage Hoosier drivers to check tire pressure and tread depth, the age of car batteries, antifreeze levels and age, car heater and defroster operation, and windshield wipers and blades. It’s also a good idea for drivers to keep at least half a tank of gas in your car at all times during the winter months.”
In addition to winter vehicle preparation, IDHS suggests creating and putting a winter weather preparedness kit in each vehicle in case of a weather-related emergency like an accident, car trouble or slide-offs. An emergency car kit is essential any time of year and should include the following items, with special emphasis this time of year on water, food and warmth:
· At least two blankets or a sleeping bag;
· Flashlight and extra batteries;
· Booster (jumper) cables;
· Emergency flares;
· Extra clothing, including boots, hats and gloves;
· Bottled water and non-perishable foods like granola bars, raisins, nuts, peanut butter or cheese crackers;
· First-aid kit and necessary medications;
· Sand or non-clumping kitty litter for tire traction;
· Cell phone and charger for vehicle use; and
· Ice scraper and snow brush.
Erickson says drivers who become stranded should try to stay calm, call for help if possible and keep in mind the following precautions:
· Unless there is a safe structure nearby, do not leave the car, since it is the best protection;