Holiday Travel Prep and Safety Tips

It’s easy to get caught up in the frenzy of holiday travel. Before you hit the road though, we suggest you check out Fema’s checklist. Make sure that your car is prepared for icy road conditions and that your family is prepared in case you find yourself stranded.

1. Know the risks before leaving home.  Listen to the radio or television for the latest weather forecasts and road conditions. If bad weather is forecast, drive only if absolutely necessary.
2. Keep your gas tank above half-full.  When temperatures are extremely cold, condensation can build up in a near-empty gas tank, potentially freezing fuel lines and leaving you stranded.
3. Check or have a mechanic check the following items on your vehicle:
• Antifreeze levels – ensure they are sufficient to avoid freezing.
• Brakes – check for wear and fluid levels.
• Exhaust system – repair as necessary. Carbon monoxide is deadly and usually gives no warning.
• Fuel and air filters – replace as needed.
• Battery and ignition system – make sure they’re clean and functioning properly.
• Heater and defroster – ensure they work properly.
• Lights and flashing hazard lights – check for serviceability.
• Thermostat – ensure it works properly.
• Windshield wiper equipment – repair any problems and maintain proper washer fluid level.
• Install good winter tires – make sure the tires have adequate tread.
4. Have an emergency supply kit for your car in case it’s needed. Include the following items:
• Jumper cables – consider including flares or reflective triangles.
• Flashlights – with extra batteries.
• First aid kit – remember any necessary medications, baby food or diapers.
• Food –  non-perishable food such as canned food, and protein rich foods like nuts and energy bars.
• Manual can opener
• Water – at least 1 gallon of water per person a day for at least 3 days.
• Basic toolkit – pliers, wrench, screwdriver.
• Radio – battery or hand cranked.
• Cat litter or sand – for better tire traction.
• Shovel
• Ice scraper
• Clothes – warm clothes, gloves, hat, sturdy boots, jacket and an extra change of clothes for the cold.
• Blankets or sleeping bags
• Charged cell phone –  and car charger.
• Pet supplies – food and water.

You can always find valuable information to help you prepare for winter at, and click here to watch our video on preparing your car for weather emergencies.


If you’re traveling with your pet, don’t forget to make sure that they’re also prepared. Make certain their vaccinations and chip are current, bring plenty of food and whatever medication they may require. More at

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