Recent Posts

Little Water Goes a Long Way

4/17/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage a Little Water Goes a Long Way

It may not look like much water, but a little bit of water can be a major problem. Any water damage in your house is not a good thing, especially when the water contains potentially harmful bacteria that can affect the health of your family.

Toilet overflows, sewage backups and other dark water intrusions are more than nasty, smelly messes; these biohazardous damages also introduce harmful microorganisms into the home, as well as the moisture necessary to support their group.

SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda understands how disruptive black water damages can be for you and your family. We offer 24-hour emergency response, and under normal circumstances we will have our professionals on site within 4 hours to begin the process of mitigation services. We want to help you gain control quickly while drying, deodorizing, and protecting their home and belongings.

Call us Today!

Tips on Removing Graffiti

4/10/2018 (Permalink)

Regardless of which city or town you go to these days, you'll find signs of graffiti by vandals hoping to cause destruction or draw attention to their message.  It's on office building, homes, apartments, shopping centers and subways.  Graffiti is applied with a variety of materials like paint, spray paint, etching products and markers, which makes removing graffiti difficult.

Options for Removing Graffiti

The best way to remove graffiti is to determine the type of graffiti product that was used and the type of surface it was applied to.  The removal options that follow work the best for removing spray paint, stencils, shoe polish and markers from a number of surfaces.

Glass

Scrape off the graffiti with a razor blade, or try paint thinner and rinse the glass clean.

Masonry

Options include sand blasting or power washing.  Chemical graffiti remover may also be effective for removing graffiti.

Fiberglass/Aluminum Siding

Sparingly apply paint remover to the surface, and rinse thoroughly with clean water.

Vinyl Siding

Small amounts of chemical solvents work well to remove graffiti.  Care should be taken not to remove the vinyl.

Metal

Apply solvents and run it out with sandpaper or steel wool, which works well.  Power washing is another option.

It's best to remove graffiti by testing a small area using your selected method to see how well the process works.

Canine Fitness Month

4/2/2018 (Permalink)

CANINE FITNESS MONTH

During the month of April, Canine Fitness Month focuses on keeping our most loyal companions healthy and physically active.

Like many of their human counterparts, too many dogs suffer from obesity and “sedentarism,” the two most common preventable conditions in the canine and human populations. Too much sitting and too many calories in the form of treats or poor nutrition choices often contribute to weight gain. Besides causing our furry friends to have sore joints, difficulty breathing, a higher risk for cancer, canine diabetes and other diseases, obesity also shortens their lives.

Unfortunately, sedentarism has become the normal lifestyle for many dogs and their people. The opposite of a sedentary lifestyle is movement. Playing, being outside, engaging and moving. Canine Fitness Month encourages us to take a step toward a developing a healthier lifestyle and bond with our four-legged family members.

ALWAYS: Check with your veterinarian to be sure your pet is healthy enough for exercise and find out what kind of diet routine Fido should be eating. Then give some of these tips a try:

  • Get walking! This is the obvious first and easiest exercise for most canine and human companions. One foot in front of the other and the fresh air will do you both good.
  • Try active play. Throw a ball, stick or frisbee in a safe environment, or better yet – run or jog with your pet to retrieve it.
  • Play hide and seek with your pet’s daily allowance of treats. Place them behind doors, under bowls and chairs. Make treating an active reward.
  • For dogs unaccustomed to the game of fetch, use a treat dispensing ball that will interest them in retrieving the ball. It may take time to get them to bring the ball back to you, but once the treat is gone, they will in hopes of more treats. Keep the amounts small and intermittent.
  • Food fitness games. Place an unstable object in front of the food bowl for your dog to step on as they reach for the food bowl to introduce balance activities and limb strengthening as a fun and rewarding game.
  • Raise the floor. Integrating a platform that can be climbed on, or crawled under, during the day is an excellent way to incorporate movement if space is small and the weather isn’t cooperating.
  • Many dogs are shadows to their canine companions, following us around everywhere we go even if it is just to lie down under foot. Take advantage of this when starting a new workout routine. Encourage them to participate when you put in the cardio or yoga video. When you shuffle across the room, grab a toy and lure them to do the same.
  • Incorporate some of your pooch’s well-known obedience drills – like sit, stand, down – into your yoga routine. When you go into cobra, try asking your loyal pal lie down. When you move into downward dog, have him sit.
  • Creating obstacle courses indoors and out is possible the whole year round. With a small amount of equipment or none at all, just moving rugs and chairs around to create obstacles will create a workout worthy of both human and canine. The key is to make movement fun for both of you!
  • Don’t have time? Find a Canine Fitness Trainer or a Dog Walker that can help get the recommended 20-30 minutes your dog needs each day.

Source:https://nationaldaycalendar.com/canine-fitness-month-april/

Do you have a mold problem?

3/27/2018 (Permalink)

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – (847) 469-6982

Water Damage Time Line

3/19/2018 (Permalink)

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Faster to Any Size Disaster

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24-hour a day 847-469-6982

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

•Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.

•Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.

•Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.

•Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

•Drywall begins to swell and break down.

•Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.

•Furniture begins to swell and crack.

•Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.

•A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

•Mold and mildew may grow and spread.

•Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.

•Metal begins to rust and corrode.

•Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.

•Paint begins to blister.

•Wood flooring swells and warps.

•Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

•Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.

•Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

About SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda

SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Spring Cleaning

3/14/2018 (Permalink)

Spring is right around the corner! Now is time to start preparing your spring cleaning “to do list”. Spring cleaning is a tradition that allows us to freshen up our homes after a long winter. So open up those windows, let the fresh air in, and call SERVPROof Mundelein/North Wauconda to help you with those deep cleaning tasks!

We offer a variety of services to get your home spring ready including:

Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning:

SERVPRO carpet and upholstery cleaning service will not only get out the dirt you see, but will also remove the unwanted dust you don’t. A professionally cleaned carpet and furniture may make all the difference in brightening up a room and freshening up your home.

Wood Floors:

Are your floors dirty and dull? Our technicians can clean and make your wood floors shiny and spotless with our Dirt Dragon cleaning process. Did I mention SERVPRO of River Oaks is a member of the National Hardwood Floor Association? Give us a call and let us bring those floors back to life!

Hard Floors:

Months of salt and dirt tracked into your home and onto your tiled floors? Our technicians can clean the tile and grout and make it like winter never even happened.

Air Duct Cleaning:

We all have tasks around the house that don’t make it to the top of our priority list. Properly maintaining your home’s air ducts should not be one of them. Regular duct cleaning can increase your home’s heating and cooling efficiency and improve the quality of the air you and your family breathe.

Odor Removal:

Your basic cleaning service is not going to have the expertise to effectively deodorize your home. Take advantage of SERVPRO’s residential cleaning services to remove unwanted odors.

Remember, spring cleaning isn’t only for your home, but also for offices, daycares, businesses, and warehouses. Let us help you get ready for warm weather.

Call us today to schedule a cleaning service, 847-469-6982

Time To Spring Ahead

3/8/2018 (Permalink)

Friendly reminder: daylight saving time returns at 2 a.m. (local time) on Sunday, March 11, which means it's almost time to "spring" those clocks forward.

Sadly, yes, we'll lose an hour of sleep. But on the bright side (literally), we'll be gaining an hour of evening light through Nov. 4 -- when it's time to "fall" back.

Daylight saving time will be extra special this year, as it marks the 100th anniversary of the event. The tradition of turning clocks forward officially began on March 19, 1918.

Here's what you need to know about the soon-to-be century-old tradition.

When did daylight saving time start?

It was established during World War I as "a way of conserving fuel needed for war industries and of extending the working day," the Library of Congress explained in a post online.

But it was only temporary. The law was repealed about a year later, on August 20, 1919, as soon as the war was over.

"However, the sections of the 1918 law, which had established standard time zones for the country, remained in effect," the library said. "In 1921, Congress readjusted the western boundary of the standard central time zone, shifting parts of Texas and Oklahoma into this zone."

The topic of daylight saving surfaced again during World War II. On Jan. 20, 1942 Congress re-established daylight saving time.

More than two decades later, in 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Uniform Time Act, declaring daylight saving time a policy of the U.S. and establishing uniform start and end times within standard time zones.

What are the rules?

Daylight saving time and time zones are regulated by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) under the Uniform Time Act. Daylight saving begins each year on the second Sunday in March, starting at 2 a.m.

"If a state chooses to observe Daylight Saving Time, it must begin and end on federally mandated dates," the DOT says.

Does everyone turn their clocks forward?

No. Hawaii, most of Arizona, and a handful of U.S. territories — including American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands — do not observe daylight saving time.

Why does it matter?

There are several reasons why officials believe daylight saving time is beneficial.

Some say it saves energy, because people tend to spend more time outside when it's lighter out. The DOT claims it also "saves lives and prevents traffic injuries," because visibility is better.

Lastly, the DOT says it reduces crime.

"During Daylight Saving Time, more people are out conducting their affairs during the daylight rather than at night, when more crime occurs," the department explained.

However, some believe the process is a "hassle."

Proponents of scrapping daylight-saving time argue it's generally unnecessary, disturbs sleep patterns and has recently become even more complicated. In 1986, Congress extended daylight saving from a six- to seven-month period and extended it again in 2005 to eight months -- mid-March to mid-November.

"Congress really gave us a wise compromise in 1966 with six months of standard time, but because of the lobbies on behalf of daylight we now spring forward in the middle of the winter," Michael Downing, author of "Spring Forward: The Annual Madness of Daylight Saving," told Fox News in 2015.

Disagreements over daylight saving isn't new. In 1965, before the Uniform Act was passed, 71 major cities in the U.S. with a population of over 100,000 were using daylight saving, while 59 others were not.

"People do not like the hassle of adjusting their clocks twice a year," Downing added.

Fox News' Matt Finn and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: http://www.foxnews.com/science/2018/03/07/daylight-saving-time-when-and-why-spring-clocks-forward.html

IICRC Certified

3/5/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

  • Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.
  • Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.
  • Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.
  • Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.
  • Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops the Standards for The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

About SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda

SERVPRO of Mundelein/North Wauconda specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Plan For Your Pets

1/31/2018 (Permalink)

Emergencies come in many forms, and they may require anything from a brief absence from your home to permanent evacuation. Each type of disaster requires different measures to keep your pets safe, so the best thing you can do for yourself and your pets is to be prepared. Here are simple steps you can follow now to make sure you’re ready before the next disaster strikes:

Step 1: Get a Rescue Alert Sticker

This easy-to-use sticker will let people know that pets are inside your home. Make sure it is visible to rescue workers (we recommend placing it on or near your front door), and that it includes the types and number of pets in your home as well as the name and number of your veterinarian. If you must evacuate with your pets, and if time allows, write “EVACUATED” across the stickers. To get a free emergency pet alert sticker for your home, please fill out our online order form and allow 6-8 weeks for delivery. Your local pet supply store may also sell similar stickers.

Step 2: Arrange a Safe Haven

Arrange a haven for your pets in the event of evacuation. DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PETS BEHIND. Remember, if it isn’t safe for you, it isn’t safe for your pets. They may become trapped or escape and be exposed to numerous life-threatening hazards. Note that not all shelters accept pets, so it is imperative that you have determined where you will bring your pets ahead of time:

  • Contact your veterinarian for a list of preferred boarding kennels and facilities.
  • Ask your local animal shelter if they provide emergency shelter or foster care for pets.
  • Identify hotels or motels outside of your immediate area that accept pets.
  • Ask friends and relatives outside your immediate area if they would be willing to take in your pet.

Step 3: Choose "Designated Caregivers

This step will take considerable time and thought. When choosing a temporary caregiver, consider someone who lives close to your residence. He or she should be generally home during the day while you are at work or has easy access to your home. A set of keys should be given to this trusted individual. This may work well with neighbors who have pets of their own—you may even swap responsibilities, depending upon who has accessibility.

When selecting a permanent caregiver, you’ll need to consider other criteria. This is a person to whom you are entrusting the care of your pet if something should happen to you. When selecting this “foster parent,” consider people who have met your pet and have successful cared for animals in the past. Be sure to discuss your expectations at length with a permanent caregiver, so he or she understands the responsibility of caring for your pet.

Step 4: Prepare Emergency Supplies and Traveling Kits

If you must evacuate your home in a crisis, plan for the worst-case scenario. Even if you think you may be gone for only a day, assume that you may not be allowed to return for several weeks. When recommendations for evacuation have been announced, follow the instructions of local and state officials. To minimize evacuation time, take these simple steps:

  • Make sure all pets wear collars and tags with up-to-date identification information. Your pet’s ID tag should contain his name, telephone number and any urgent medical needs. Be sure to also write your pet’s name, your name and contact information on your pet’s carrier.
  • The ASPCA recommends microchipping your pet as a more permanent form of identification. A microchip is implanted under the skin in the animal’s shoulder area, and can be read by a scanner at most animal shelters.
  • Always bring pets indoors at the first sign or warning of a storm or disaster. Pets can become disoriented and wander away from home in a crisis.
  • Store an emergency kit and leashes as close to an exit as possible. Make sure that everyone in the family knows where it is, and that it clearly labeled and easy to carry. Items to consider keeping in or near your “Evac-Pack” include:
  • Pet first-aid kit and guide book (ask your vet what to include)
  • 3-7 days’ worth of canned (pop-top) or dry food (be sure to rotate every two months)
  • Disposable litter trays (aluminum roasting pans are perfect)
  • Litter or paper toweling
  • Liquid dish soap and disinfectant
  • Disposable garbage bags for clean-up
  • Pet feeding dishes and water bowls
  • Extra collar or harness as well as an extra leash
  • Photocopies and/or USB of medical records and a waterproof container with a two-week supply of any medicine your pet requires (Remember, food and medications need to be rotated out of your emergency kit—otherwise they may go bad or become useless)
  • At least seven days’ worth of bottled water for each person and pet (store in a cool, dry place and replace every two months)
  • A traveling bag, crate or sturdy carrier, ideally one for each pet
  • Flashlight
  • Blanket
  • Recent photos of your pets (in case you are separated and need to make “Lost” posters)
  • Especially for cats: Pillowcase, toys, scoop-able litter
  • Especially for dogs: Extra leash, toys and chew toys, a week’s worth of cage liner

You should also have an emergency kit for the human members of the family. Items to include: Batteries, duct tape, flashlight, radio, multi-tool, tarp, rope, permanent marker, spray paint, baby wipes, protective clothing and footwear, extra cash, rescue whistle, important phone numbers, extra medication and copies of medical and insurance information.

Step 5: Keep the ASPCA On-Hand Always

The free ASPCA mobile app shows pet parents exactly what to do in case of a natural disaster. It also allows pet owners to store vital medical records and provides information on making life-saving decisions during natural disasters. With a few swipes, you can:

  • Access critical advice on what to do with your pet before, during, and after a major storm—even if there’s no data connectivity.
  • Store and manage your pet’s critical health records.
  • Receive a personalized missing pet recovery kit, including step-by-step instructions on how to search for a lost animal in a variety of circumstances.
  • Build a lost pet digital flyer that can be shared instantly on your social media channels.
  • Get the latest and most relevant news about pets and animal welfare.

Other Considerations

Geographic Considerations: If you live in an area that is prone to certain natural disasters, such as tornadoes, earthquakes or floods, you should plan accordingly.

  • Determine well in advance which rooms offer safe havens. These rooms should be clear or hazards such as windows, flying debris, etc.
  • Choose easy-to-clean areas such as utility rooms, bathrooms and basements as safe zones
  • Access to a supply of fresh water is particularly important. In areas that may lose electricity, fill up bathtubs and sinks ahead of time to ensure that you have access to water during a power outage or other crises.
  • In the event of flooding, go to the highest location in your home, or a room that has access to counters or high shelves where your animals can take shelter.

Special Considerations for Horses

  • Keep a clean and tidy stable and pasture. Remove hazardous and flammable materials, debris and machinery from around the barn’s walkways, entrances and exits. Regularly maintain and inspect barn floors and septic tanks. Inspect your grounds regularly and remove dangerous debris in the pasture.
  • Prevent fires by instituting a no-smoking policy around your barn. Avoid using or leaving on appliances in the barn, even seemingly-harmless appliances like box fans, heaters and power tools can overheat. Exposed wiring can also lead to electrical fires in the barn, as can a simple nudge from an animal who accidentally knocks over a machine.
  • Get your horse used to wearing a halter, and get him used to trailering. Periodically, you should practice quickly getting your horse on a trailer for the same reason that schools have fire drills—asking a group of unpracticed children to exit a burning building in a calm fashion is a little unrealistic, as is requesting a new and strange behavior of your horse.
  • If you own a trailer, please inspect it regularly. Also, make sure your towing vehicle is appropriate for the size and weight of the trailer and horse. Always make sure the trailer is hitched properly—the hitch locked on the ball, safety chains or cables attached, and emergency brake battery charged and linked to towing vehicle. Proper tire pressure (as shown on the tire wall) is also very important.
  • Get your horse well-socialized and used to being handled by all kinds of strangers. If possible, invite emergency responders and/or members of your local fire service to interact with your horse. It will be mutually beneficial for them to become acquainted. Firemen’s turnout gear may smell like smoke and look unusual, which many horses find frightening—so ask them to wear their usual response gear to get your horse used to the look and smell.
  • Set up a phone tree/buddy system with other nearby horse owners and local farms. This could prove invaluable should you—or they—need to evacuate animals or share resources like trailers, pastures or extra hands!
  • Keep equine veterinary records in a safe place where they can quickly be reached. Be sure to post emergency phone numbers by the phone. Include your 24-hour veterinarian, emergency services and friends. You should also keep a copy for emergency services personnel in the barn that includes phone numbers for you, your emergency contact, your 24-hour veterinarian and several friends.

Special Considerations for Birds

  • Birds should be transported in a secure travel cage or carrier.
  • In cold weather, make certain you have a blanket over your pet’s cage. This may also help reduce the stress of traveling.
  • In warm weather, carry a spray bottle to periodically moisten your bird’s feathers.
  • Have recent photos available, and keep your bird’s leg bands on for identification.
  • If the carrier does not have a perch, line it for paper towels that you can change frequently.
  • Keep the carrier in as quiet an area as possible.
  • It is particularly imperative that birds eat daily, so purchase a timed feeder. If you need to leave your bird unexpectedly, the feeder will ensure his daily feeding schedule.
  • Items to keep on hand: Catch net, heavy towel, blanket or sheet to cover cage, cage liner.

Special Considerations for Reptiles

  • A snake may be transported in a pillowcase, but you should have permanent and secure housing for him when you reach a safe place.
  • Take a sturdy bowl that is large for your pet to soak in. It’s also a good idea to bring along a heating pad or other warming devise, such as a hot water bottle.
  • Lizards can be transported like birds (see above).

Special Considerations for Small Animals

  • Small animals, such as hamsters, gerbils, mice and guinea pigs, should be transported in secure carriers with bedding materials, food and food bowls.
  • Items to keep on hand: Salt lick, extra water bottle, small hide box or tube, a week’s worth of bedding.

Source: https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/general-pet-care/disaster-preparedness

Winter Driving Tips

1/24/2018 (Permalink)

Driving in the winter can be harrowing, especially where blizzard and icy conditions crop up seemingly out of nowhere. But new safety technologies are being added to cars at a record rate. Some can even take control of the vehicle to help us avoid crashes.

One such technology that's particularly useful in winter is traction control. This function helps your vehicle? gain traction on snowy, icy or wet surfaces, particularly when accelerating from a stopped or slowed position, or when trying to make it up a slippery hill. Traction control is now standard on most new vehicles.

My Car Does What? is a campaign of the National Safety Council and the University of Iowa to help educate drivers on dozens of new vehicle safety technologies. But remember, you are your car's best safety feature. Take precautions to ensure you arrive safely at your destination.

Check the Weather Before You Go

If the weather is frigid, you're going to want to warm up the car before you drive it. To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning?, never leave a vehicle running in an enclosed area, such as a garage. In fact, the Consumer Product Safety Commission warns that a car running in an attached garage is never safe, even with the garage door open.

If the forecast looks iffy, wait out the storm if possible. But if you must travel make sure you share your travel plans and route with someone before you leave.

If you become stranded in an unfamiliar area, do not leave your car. Light flares in front and behind the car and make sure the exhaust pipe is not blocked by snow, mud or any object.

Prepare Your Car for Winter

Besides checking the weather, it's important to have a mechanic check the condition of the following vehicle systems before heading out on the road:

  • Ignition
  • Brakes
  • Wiring
  • Hoses and fan belts
  • Spark plugs
  • Air, fuel and emissions filters, and PCV valve
  • Distributor
  • Battery
  • Tire wear and air pressure
  • Antifreeze level and freeze line

Know What to Do to Avoid a Crash

You've done all you can to prepare your car, you've checked the weather, but suddenly you find yourself driving in a slippery mess. If visibility is severely limited due to a whiteout, pull off the road and don't even attempt to drive farther until conditions improve.

But sometimes water or ice on the road can surprise drivers, even with little to no precipitation. Do you know how to prevent a skid? Would you know what to do if you ended up sliding toward another vehicle or fixed object? If you don't want to end up in a crash like the one in Michigan, AAA offers some winter driving tips.

  • Never mix radial tires with other types of tires
  • If possible, avoid using your parking brake in cold, rainy and snowy weather
  • Do not use cruise control in wintery conditions
  • Look and steer in the direction you want to go
  • Accelerate and decelerate slowly
  • Increase following distance to 8 to 10 seconds
  • Know whether you have antilock brakes, which will "pump" the brakes for you in a skid
  • If possible, don't stop when going uphill
  • Keep your gas tank at least half-full
  • If you do get stranded, don't try to push your vehicle out of snow
  • Signal distress with a brightly colored cloth tied to the antenna or in a rolled up window

Don't Leave Home Without These

In an emergency, in addition to a full tank of gas and fresh antifreeze, National Safety Council recommends having these with you at all times:

  • Properly inflated spare tire, wheel wrench and tripod jack
  • Shovel
  • Jumper cables
  • Tow and tire chains
  • Bag of salt or cat litter for better tire traction or to melt snow
  • Tool kit
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Reflective triangles or flares
  • Compass
  • First aid kit
  • Windshield cleaner
  • Ice scraper and snow brush
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Scissors and string or cord
  • Nonperishable, high-energy foods like unsalted, canned nuts, dried fruits and hard candy
  • Blankets, mittens, socks and hats

Winter road trips – even short ones – are a great way to celebrate with family and friends. Being prepared can ensure a safe and happy time is had by all.

Source: http://www.nsc.org/learn/safety-knowledge/Pages/news-and-resources-winter-your-car-and-you.aspx