Winter Driving Tips

Severe weather can be both frightening and dangerous for automobile travel. Motorists should know the safety rules for dealing with winter road emergencies. AAA reminds motorists to be cautious while driving in adverse weather. For more information on winter driving, the association offers the How to Go on Ice and Snow brochure, available through most AAA offices. Contact your local AAA club for more information.

AAA recommends the following winter driving tips:

  • Avoid driving while you’re fatigued. Getting the proper amount of rest before taking on winter weather tasks reduces driving risks.
  • Never warm up a vehicle in an enclosed area, such as a garage.
  • Make certain your tires are properly inflated.
  • Never mix radial tires with other tire types.
  • Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze-up.
  • If possible, avoid using your parking brake in cold, rainy and snowy weather.
  • Do not use cruise control when driving on any slippery surface (wet, ice, sand).
  • Always look and steer where you want to go.
  • Use your seat belt every time you get into your vehicle.

Tips for long-distance winter trips:

  • Watch weather reports prior to a long-distance drive or before driving in isolated areas. Delay trips when especially bad weather is expected. If you must leave, let others know your route, destination and estimated time of arrival.
  • Always make sure your vehicle is in peak operating condition by having it inspected by a AAA Approved Auto Repair facility.
  • Keep at least half a tank of gasoline in your vehicle at all times.
  • Pack a cellular telephone with your local AAA’s telephone number, plus blankets, gloves, hats, food, water and any needed medication in your vehicle.
  • If you become snow-bound, stay with your vehicle. It provides temporary shelter and makes it easier for rescuers to locate you. Don’t try to walk in a severe storm. It’s easy to lose sight of your vehicle in blowing snow and become lost.
  • Don’t over exert yourself if you try to push or dig your vehicle out of the snow.
  • Tie a brightly colored cloth to the antenna or place a cloth at the top of a rolled up window to signal distress. At night, keep the dome light on if possible. It only uses a small amount of electricity and will make it easier for rescuers to find you.
  • Make sure the exhaust pipe isn’t clogged with snow, ice or mud. A blocked exhaust could cause deadly carbon monoxide gas to leak into the passenger compartment with the engine running.
  • Use whatever is available to insulate your body from the cold. This could include floor mats, newspapers or paper maps.
  • If possible run the engine and heater just long enough to remove the chill and to conserve gasoline.

Tips for driving in the snow:

  • Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Applying the gas slowly to accelerate is the best method for regaining traction and avoiding skids. Don’t try to get moving in a hurry. And take time to slow down for a stoplight. Remember: It takes longer to slow down on icy roads.
  • Drive slowly. Everything takes longer on snow-covered roads. Accelerating, stopping, turning – nothing happens as quickly as on dry pavement. Give yourself time to maneuver by driving slowly.
  • The normal dry pavement following distance of three to four seconds should be increased to eight to ten seconds. This increased margin of safety will provide the longer distance needed if you have to stop.
  • Know your brakes. Whether you have antilock brakes or not, the best way to stop is threshold breaking. Keep the heel of your foot on the floor and use the ball of your foot to apply firm, steady pressure on the brake pedal.
  • Don’t stop if you can avoid it. There’s a big difference in the amount of inertia it takes to start moving from a full stop versus how much it takes to get moving while still rolling. If you can slow down enough to keep rolling until a traffic light changes, do it.
  • Don’t power up hills. Applying extra gas on snow-covered roads just starts your wheels spinning. Try to get a little inertia going before you reach the hill and let that inertia carry you to the top. As you reach the crest of the hill, reduce your speed and proceed down hill as slowly as possible.
  • Don’t stop going up a hill. There’s nothing worse than trying to get moving up a hill on an icy road. Get some inertia going on a flat roadway before you take on the hill.
  • Stay home. If you really don’t have to go out, don’t. Even if you can drive well in the snow, not everyone else can. Don’t tempt fate: If you don’t have somewhere you have to be, watch the snow from indoors.

Original Article Source:https://exchange.aaa.com/safety/driving-advice/winter-driving-tips/#.XD5LvFxKhhE

Need to clean up ash from the Woolsey fire? Follow these guidelines for safety

Ash from the Woolsey and Hill fires can have a far reach, raining down on communities many miles away.

Areas of California have not only been completely devastated by the recent wildfires in Northern California and the Malibu area, but many far away from the flames have been impacted in other ways with power outages or debris from the fires.

The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department sent out tips via social media on Wednesday on how to safely discard of ash and food that may have been impacted.

Wash off the ash

Ash may look like fun snowflakes to children, but make sure they don’t play in it – especially when it’s wet or damp.  And make sure any toys they play with are washed.

Don’t forget to also wash your pets that may have gotten ash on their fur.

Always wear gloves during clean up, along with long-sleeved shirts and long pants to avoid skin contact. Wash ash off as soon as possible if it gets on your skin.

If you eat vegetable or fruits from the garden, make sure you wash them before eating.

Don’t spread it around

Don’t use leaf blowers — they will push ash into the air and spread it out.

“Instead, gently sweep indoor and outdoor surfaces, followed by wet mopping,” the post reads. “A solution of bleach and water may be used to disinfect an area.”

Your regular home vacuum won’t cut it, and even shop vacuums can’t filter out small particles. Instead, they blow small particles into the air where they can be breathed in. However, HEPA-filter vacuums can filter out small particles.

Use a disposable mask, an easy item to find at home or hardware stores, when cleaning up. Make sure it has a rating of N-95 or better.

Avoid washing ash into the storm drains whenever possible. Ash and soot can become very slippery when combined with water.

“Walk carefully, wear boots with good soles, and use as little water as possible when cleaning an area of ash,” the post reads.

Throw it out

If ash has gotten onto plastic bottles, toss them.

“It is not enough to rinse off the bottles as these particles contaminate the caps, making them very difficult to decontaminate,” the advisory reads

Food that has not been stored in waterproof or airtight containers and has been covered with ash should be discarded. This includes products that have been stored in cardboard or other soft packaging, according to the sheriff’s department.

Food stored in sealed, previously unopened glass or metal cans or jars, such as baby food, should be safe for use, but the containers should be cleaned before they are opened and contents transferred to another container before being eaten.

If a power outage has impacted your area for a short time, your food should be safe. But if your power has been out for several hours, it’s best to throw away perishable foods such as meat, dairy products and eggs.

Items that have thawed in the freezer should be thrown away — do not re-freeze thawed food.

“Remember, if in doubt, throw it out.”

Original Article Source:https://www.dailynews.com/2018/11/14/need-to-clean-up-ash-from-the-woolsey-fire-follow-these-guidelines-for-safety/

21 things to do to prepare for El Nino

Los Angeles Rain 2015

1. Fix any roof leaks before it rains.  This is a sure way to prevent water damage to the attic, insulation, and ceilings within your home.

2. Gutters and downspouts should be clean and free of debris.  Also look for any breaks and make sure the gutters are tight against the roofline. Moving water away from the home with rain gutters and downspouts will help prevent water from damaging your home.

3. Buy a generator.  This standby generator will help provide light and possibly heat during a power outage.

4.  Install a sump pump for areas below grade.  Moving water from low lying areas will prevent ponding and potential water damage to your home.

5. Exterior surfaces of the home should be touched up, sealed, or painted. Seal up any holes from cables and other wires that penetrate exterior walls to prevent water damage.

prepare for el nino LA and prevent water damage and mold

6. Examine your windows. Look for holes in the seals and caulk the openings. Check and recaulk as needed.

7. Check balcony and deck slopes.  Look for holes, loose, and degrading layers of building materials on the surface of patios or decks.

8. Call an exterminator to prevent pests from intruding during the rain.

9. Store emergency repair materials (sandbags, heavy plastic sheeting) in a safe dry place.

10. Vechile – Maintain tires and fill up your gas tank.

11. Buy new windshield wipers.  This will help you drive safely during the heavy rains.

12. How old is your car’s battery? At three years, have it checked by a trusted mechanic.

13. Drainage.  Prepare your yard by sloping landscape away from your home.  Note new drainage patterns if you have recently changed to an environmentally friendly yard.

14. Automatic Timers:  Turn off your system.

15. Loosen compacted soil: Ground that has been allowed to dry out will repel water initially. Make sure soil levels are below the stucco line of your home to prevent water damage.

16. Have your trees checked: With the drought taking a toll on all trees, now is the time to bring in a certified arborist — not a simple tree cutter — to do a health check and risk assessment.

17. Secure your yard: Reinforce your fencing if needed. Store or tie down anything that might blow and cause damage in high wind.

18. Have materials on hand to divert water: Sandbags, concrete edgers and straw-waddle tubing can effectively channel water away from structures to drainage areas.

19. Secure important documents in the cloud or on a thumb drive.

20. Put together preparedness and disaster supply kits for your home and car. FEMA, the California Department of Water Resources and the Auto Club are just three of many organizations that list important things to have on hand. For more information, go to www.floodprepareCA.com (California Department of Water Resources), www.ladbs.org (Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety “Homeowners Guide for Flood, Debris Flow and Erosion Control”), www.ready.gov (National Weather Service) and www.aaa.com (Automobile Club of Southern California).

21. Prepare now: Experts agree that the toughest time to find solutions to rain-related issues is during a rainstorm.

Online Registration Now Open for the 8th Annual Valley Disaster Preparedness Fair

San Fernanado Valley Disaster Preparedness Fair 2015 Granada Hills. CA

San Fernanado Valley Disaster Preparedness Fair 2015 Granada Hills. CAOnline registration for the 8th Annual Valley Disaster Preparedness Fair (the largest in Los Angeles) opened on July 1, 2015. Please don’t be misled by the Valley in our name—everyone is invited to attend. Mother Nature pays no attention to our boundaries. By registering online, Fairgoers who bring their printed voucher to the Express Check-In Lane at the Fair will receive a token exchangeable at the Fair for one Family Emergency Preparedness (EP) Starter Kit (1 per family while supplies last). Online registrants will also receive Fair updates, directions, a site map, plus a free gift when they check in at the Fair.

Please encourage your stakeholders, family, and friends to register and attend! Everything at the Fair is free, thanks to our generous supporters and contributors, including many Neighborhood Councils throughout Los Angeles.

The emailed Welcome Letter that registrants receive will include information about the registrant’s Council District and Neighborhood Council specific to the address provided during the registration process. If your NC is one that has not yet submitted a short message (150-200 words) to your stakeholders for us to include in the Welcome Letter, please do so now. (Thank you to the NCs who have already submitted their outreach messages.) This is a valuable opportunity to communicate with your stakeholders, to let them know what you are doing for your community, and to encourage them to get involved. Please email your message to Bill Hopkins (Bill.Hopkins@SoCalPrep.us) right away.

For more details, or if your NC would like to host an Outreach booth at the Fair, send an email to Info@ValleyDisasterFair.com. Don’t miss this great opportunity to communicate with your stakeholders.

Thank you for helping all our stakeholders get prepared for disasters.

The 8th Annual Valley Disaster Preparedness Fair will take place on Saturday, October 3, 2015 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm at Fire Station 87 in Granada Hills. Visit www.ValleyDisasterFair.com for more information and online registration. A Save The Date flyer can be downloaded here.

Online Registration Now Open for the 8th Annual Valley Disaster Preparedness Fair

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