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Transitional weather 101

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- As the holiday season approaches, some may be traveling significant distances on the highways to spend time with family and friends.

Before you depart, have safety in mind and plan your travel well. Conduct a solid personal risk assessment to ensure you have considered all of the potential risks such as unfamiliar roads, adverse weather, heavy traffic and travel delays. Give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination. Always buckle up. Driving in Colorado and surrounding states often brings unpredictable weather and treacherous road conditions of ice, snow and limited visibility, so drive defensively. Keeping that in mind, a winter safety kit for your vehicle may come in handy if your car becomes stuck or you are involved in an accident.

Winter safety kit
· Winter necessities such as an ice scraper, tire chains, extra washer fluid, boots and gloves.
· Emergency supplies such as extra clothing, sleeping bag or blankets, flashlight with spare batteries, energy bars or dried snacks, drinking water, a battery-powered radio with spare batteries, a first aid kit, booster cables, safety flares, a small shovel, and a jug of water and funnel for radiator refills.
· Tools and "fix-it" supplies such as a spare tire or fix-a-flat, screwdriver, pliers, rubber hammer, wrench, a can of penetrating oil, duct tape, wire or rope, and a small throw rug or old shower curtain for kneeling next to your car or getting under it.
· Other necessities such as a cell phone and car charger, matches and candles, an empty coffee can to melt snow/ice, sand or kitty litter for traction, paper towels or toilet paper, and an ax or saw for cutting wood.

The key thing to remember is to stay with your vehicle -- it provides some protection from the elements and is easier to find than a lone person in blizzard conditions. You'll have a better chance of survival if you remain in your vehicle and are prepared by having a winter safety kit available.

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