CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — Well after the groundhog predicted six more weeks of winter, Mother Nature was sure to remind the Illinois that winter is still here.
Before the snowstorm hit Thursday night, the National Weather Service advised drivers to use caution, as the snowfall could lead to dangerous road conditions. They warned drivers to be prepared for “significant” reductions in visibility, and even “very difficult to impossible” travel conditions.
“If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency,” the weather service said.
State and federal agencies encourage people to minimize travel in extreme weather conditions, but if driving is necessary, they advise you to do so during the day, on main roads if possible, and to inform others of where you are going. Don’t forget to keep your cell phone charged, and throw an extra cell phone charger into your car.
It’s also important to make sure that your spare tire is in good condition and you have the proper tools to change it if necessary.
But there are other emergency items you should include, especially during the cold winter months. Here is ready.gov’s list of items to update your vehicle’s emergency kit:
2. Windshield scraper
3. Small broom
6. Battery powered radio and extra batteries
7. Water and snack food
8. First aid kit with pocket knife
9. Extra hats, socks, mittens, and blankets
10. Tow chain, rope, and jumper cables
11. Road salt and/or sand
12. Necessary medications
13. Emergency flares and fluorescent distress flag
You should also have your vehicle regularly checked for antifreeze levels, the battery and ignition system, the brakes, exhaust system, fuel and air filters, heater and defroster, lights and flashing hazard lights, oil, thermostat, windshield wiper equipment and washer fluid level.
Extra tips in keeping yourself and your vehicle safe this winter include keeping your gas tank full and installing winter tires.