Snow is the Forecast…

Although winter comes as no surprise, many of us are not ready for its arrival. Winter storms or other severe weather conditions can cause serious damage. This winter season it is important to think about winter weather approaching and most importantly to be prepared for it. Here are some tips to help you get through the cold this winter:

 

 

 

 

Prepare Yourself

  • Stay indoors during the storm.
  • Walk carefully and cautiously on snowy, icy walkways.
  • Stay dry. Wear winter essentials like a hat, gloves, scarf, and jacket as a way of protection against the cold.
  • Check your homes heating system. Make sure that it is properly working.
  • Be aware of the current weather forecast. Know of any changes with the weather that could possibly make it worse.

Prepare your Car

  • Drive only if it is absolutely necessary. If you must drive, do not travel alone.
  • Clear snow off from the top of the car, headlights, and windows.
  • Top off antifreeze, windshield wiper fluid, gas, and oil before you begin your journey.
  • Make sure your tires have enough tread.
  • Keep bagged salt in the trunk to melt ice or for emergency purposes.

The winter season can sometimes be a scary one. This is why it is important to be prepared for any type of weather condition winter may bring. If you are prepared for the hazards of winter, you will be more likely to stay safe and healthy when temperatures start to fall.

Old Man Winter Safety Tips

Now that the winter has arrived, temperatures will be dropping and snow will be falling. Whether you’re walking or driving during the winter months, its best to be prepared so you stay safe.

Walk Smart. As a pedestrian, it’s your job to be aware of your surroundings at all times. If you know that snow is headed your way make sure to plan ahead. Before you walk out the door, make sure that you wear the proper footwear. Sneakers or snow boot are the best type of shoe for the winter weather. Be sure to take your time and don’t rush and look up when navigating the sidewalk. This method allows you to anticipate ice or an uneven surface. Along with taking your time, you should occasionally scan from left to right to ensure that you aren’t in the way of vehicles or other hazards.

Drive Smart. Injuries during the winter aren’t always from slipping on ice, but can also result from car crashes. The snow and ice do more than we think. Not being visible, black ice is the most dangerous of all to drivers. Always leave extra time to get to your destination. By taking your time and doing the speed limit can help ensure your safety and the safety of others on the road. And be extra cautious in parking lots.  They are difficult to clear and the snow piles take long to melt. Always be aware of pedestrians, snow piles, and cars that may slide or skid on ice.

If you are a home or business owner, make sure sidewalks, walkways and driveways are cleared of any snow, ice or other slippery materials that could get in the way of the pedestrian and drivers.

No matter how well the snow and ice are removed or melted from parking lots, sidewalks and the roads, it’s imperative to walk and drive smart. Together, we are all responsible for our safety and the safety of others this winter season.

Take a Hike!

Hiking is a great outdoor activity delivering benefits beyond scenic and fun. Unlike regular walking, hiking involves much more. Here are some safety tips to cover before you go out for your hike.

  1. Check the weather. Leading up to and a few hours before your hike, check the weather. The weather, especially this time of year, isn’t always predictable. It’s better to be aware and prepared instead of being surprised while on your hike.
  2. Pack the essentials. Nothing is worse than being on your hike and not be prepared for emergency situations. Some key essentials to have with you at all times are map/compass, sunscreen, extra clothing, cell phone, water, and food.
  3. Wear the right clothing. Painful feet can ruin any hike. Invest in high-quality hiking shoes and thick socks. Wearing layers is the best way to be prepared. You can always take them off and put them back on when needed.
  4. Know where you’re going. Before heading on your hike, make sure that you and whoever else is going is aware of where you are going. Showing up for hiking and not knowing where to go can lead to an unsuccessful hike. Go over the trail and/or trails that you will be covering that day, that way you can be safe and enjoy the experience.

Tis the Season… Safety Tips for Holiday Shopping

Now that the holiday season is in full swing,  many of us will be checking our lists and heading out to the malls and town centers for holiday shopping. To help you shop safely, we’ve put together some Holiday Shopping tips.

  1. Before heading out to the big sales, map out the stores you plan to visit by trip chaining.  This not only saves on fuel, but it is also a most effective use of time.
  2. Something a lot of people forget when shopping is their own health. Have plenty of water and snacks with you in case your shopping takes longer than expected. Bring hand warmers for long outdoor lines.
  3. Parking lots are where most of the danger occurs during the holiday season. Don’t park between large vehicles. This might obscure your vision when you pull out and shoppers may not see you. Wear reflective clothing to make you visible in busy parking lots.
  4. Leave your car at home and take mass transitNJ TRANSIT serves many of the malls in Middlesex County and provides frequent stops.  Leave the driving to them and enjoy your shopping.

Wishing all of our friends a safe and joyous holiday season.

Winter Walking Safety Tips

http://health.sunnybrook.ca/wellness/safety-tips-winter-walking-snow/
Photo Credit *

Now that the winter has arrived temperatures will be dropping and snow will fall from the sky. With snow comes ice, and with ice comes slips and falls. Mother Nature might be the one to blame for the sleet and snow, but who is to blame for the slips and falls?

As a pedestrian it’s your job to be aware of your surroundings at all times. If you know that snow is headed your way make sure to plan ahead. Here’s how:

Before you walk out the door, make sure that you wear the proper footwear. Proper footwear should place the entire foot on the surface of the ground, like sneakers or snow boots. You should avoid a smooth sole and shoes with flat bottoms.

While walking on snow or icy sidewalks or parking lots, always walk consciously. Be sure to take your time and don’t rush. People think that by looking down while walking helps, when really this isn’t true. Instead of looking down, you should look up and see where your feet will move next. This method allows you to anticipate ice or any uneven surfaces. Along with taking your time, you should occasionally scan from left to right to ensure that you aren’t in the way of vehicles or other hazards.

Injuries during the winter aren’t always from slipping on ice, but can also result from falling snow/ice as it blows, melts, or breaks away from awnings, buildings, etc. If you are a home or business owner, make sure sidewalks and walkways (and any overhangs) are cleared of any snow, ice or other slippery materials that could get in the way of the pedestrian.

Whether you’re walking to and from parking lots, between buildings at work, or even at home on your sidewalk, walk cautious and walk alert. Slips and falls are the most frequent types of injuries that occur during the winter season. No matter how well the snow and ice is removed from parking lots and sidewalks, it’s imperative to walk smart.

 

*http://health.sunnybrook.ca/wellness/safety-tips-winter-walking-snow/

Winter is Here!

Car tires on winter road covered with snow

The winter is upon us and sooner or later, New Jersey will see itself covered in a freezing blanket of billowy snow. But as New Jersians, life doesn’t just stop because of a few flakes (or feet) of the white stuff. Getting your car “winter ready” before the first snow will ensure you’re ready to face the road ahead. Ensure vehicle fluids are changed, tires are checked or replaced, and ensure all exterior lights are in proper working order. Then follow these driving tips if you need to travel in the cold and snow:

  • Make sure your tires are properly inflated. Most vehicles keep the tire pressure information on the driver side door panel.
  • Check and replace (if necessary) windshield wipers.
  • Top off wiper fluid.
  • Keep your gas tank at least half full.
  • Do not use cruise control in wet, wintery, icy weather.
  • Avoid hard breaking in wet weather as this can make your vehicle spin out of control.
  • Look and steer in the direction you want to go.
  • The normal dry pavement following distance of three to four seconds should be increased to eight to ten seconds.
  • Keep non-clumping kitty litter or wood chips in the trunk of your vehicle. This will help your tires gain traction if you become stuck in snow.
  • When traveling long distances, make sure to keep a blanket, flash light, water, and snacks in your vehicle in case you become stranded.
  • When in doubt, stay home. If driving conditions make it extremely difficult to travel, please do not attempt to go out.

For more information on winter driving visit http://exchange.aaa.com/safety/roadway-safety/winter-driving-tips/#.WG0-FxsrJPY

The Winter Doldrums

kmm.orgDon’t let winter weigh you down.  Lift your family’s spirits with a brisk walk.  A walk around the corner, to a friend’s house, to the park, to the skating rink or sledding hill, or even to school in the sunshine and fresh cold air can put everyone in a better mood. Sound impossible? Here are some winter walking tips to put the spring in your step.

  • Be role model! If winter walking is normal to you, it’ll be normal to your children.
  • Being warm is not just about clothing.  Start out with a good breakfast and drink fluids to stay well-hydrated.
  • Dress appropriately. Bundle up in coats, hats, gloves, and scarves, of course. But also consider warm, waterproof boots (snow boots) and snow pants for snowy or very cold days.  Dress in layers.
  • Walking is more fun with friends! Recruit friends and neighbors to join you.
  •  Short winter days means dusk comes earlier.  Be visible.  Consider carrying a flashlight or clipping reflective tags to coats and backpacks.

Spring will be here before you know it, and April is New Jersey Walk and Bike to School Month. Now is a great time to bring in KMM for a school Walking Safety Assembly and to start planning a Spring Walk to School Day. Contact Safe Routes to School Coordinator Peter Bilton at (732) 745-3996 to find out more.

O Tannenbaum, How Lovely Are Your Branches

Photo Credit: Pinterest
Photo Credit: Pinterest

In NJ and around the world, cutting down a Christmas tree has become a family tradition.  On a crisp December day, Mom and Dad bundle up the kids, pile into the car, and head out to a tree farm.  Hack saw in hand, they trek through the fields and over the hills inspecting, rejecting, and finally, finding the perfect tree.  Alternatively, the family stops at a nearby lot and selects a pre-cut tree.  Wherever the tree is purchased, it has to be brought home.  That’s when the trouble starts.

While this stately tree may fit perfectly in front of your picture window, it may be a bit oversized for your car.  How do you transport your Tannenbaum safely from field to foyer?

The folks at www.cars.com asked the experts at the National Christmas Tree Association for some tips on transporting your tree.

  • Get your Christmas tree netted before leaving the lot to make it more manageable. If it’s going on the roof, the trunk should be facing front.
  • Make sure to select a tree that will either fit inside your cargo area or on top of your roof. A roof rack is a good idea.
  • Have enough rope or cord to wrap around the tree and secure it to the roof rack or to cargo hooks.
  • Protect the cargo area or roof with a tarp or blanket.
  • Before leaving the lot, give the tree a good tug to make sure it’s secure.
  • Drive slowly and avoid the highway. Heavy objects affect your vehicle’s center of gravity and consequently emergency handling.

The NJ State Police emphasize that improperly secured trees can cause the tree to slide down the windshield and obstructing the driver’s view or falling off the roof and strike another vehicle.  They suggest planning ahead and arrive in a vehicle to support the size of tree you select.

Whether your holiday plans call for “rockin’ around the Christmas tree,” or sitting in quiet contemplation, make sure you and your tree arrive home safely.

“Waes Hael” and Be Safe

carolingLike many traditions, caroling harkens back to olden times.  On Twelfth Night, people in the apple growing regions of southern and western England gathered in orchards for wassailing. Because wages were often paid in apple cider, a bountiful harvest was necessary for the livelihood of the landowner and laborers.  Dancing and singing traditional songs, the people paraded through the orchards pouring apple cider on the trees and settling cider soaked bread on branches to chase away evil spirits.  They toasted the apple trees with a hearty “waes hael” (good health.)

Today, families and friends keep the tradition alive with a night of caroling.  Like the ancients, they walk through neighborhoods singing favorite carols and perhaps stopping for food and drink.

Unlike the ancients, carolers today may be walking on cold nights and icy sidewalks.  Keep these winter walking tips in mind.

  • Bundle up in coats, hats, gloves, and scarves.
  • Wear sensible, warm, waterproof boots for snowy or very cold nights.
  • Dress in layers.
  • Stay hydrated.  Carry a thermos with water or hot cocoa.
  • Carry a battery operated lantern or a flashlight to light the walk and to be seen by drivers. Be visible.

Have a great time!

Lunch Time by Foot

walkingKMM is located in the heart of vibrant New Brunswick, NJ where banks, the post office, all sorts of stores, and even the State Theater are within walking distance. Our staff relishes all this convenience, especially at lunch time when the city is our oyster.

American, Italian, Mexican, Chinese, Japanese, Caribbean, and Ethiopian cuisine as well as the Hyatt’s Glasswoods Tavern offer attractive eat in options. For something fast, New Brunswick boasts barbeque, burgers, soups, salads, hot dogs, subs, and sandwiches. And, if we just can’t decide, we head over to the new supermarket which has an abundant take out menu. We frequent delightful ice cream and yogurt shops guilt free because we are walking to and from the yummy establishments.

Admittedly, winter has curtailed our lunchtime outdoor activities somewhat. For now, we’re mostly brown bagging around our conference table.

Despite the cold, wind, snow, and ice, we do get out, waiting for the “perfect” day, defined loosely as one with temperatures above 20 degrees and no precipitation. Lacing up our boots, putting on our mittens, and wrapping up in scarves, and hats, we’re ready to brave the elements. Walking gingerly to avoid ice, we mince our way down the sidewalk to a nearby eatery for something hot to eat-in or take out.

Sadly, we’ve haven’t enjoyed too many of these excursions. When it comes to walking in winter, we use common sense. If it’s cold, if it’s slippery, if the snow is piled high at intersections, we stay in the office and look longingly at our sneakers sitting untouched in the corner waiting, like us, for Spring.