BOISE – With dangerously low temperatures expected, AAA is encouraging the public to take extra precautions, whether at home or on the road.

Here are some important reminders:

  • Maintain an adequate supply of food, water, and medications throughout the winter months.  Include protein-rich items, such as canned chili and jerky, that don’t require heating to consume in an emergency.
  • Note the location of warming shelters in your area (in many cases, posted on city websites), then share this information with friends, loved ones, and on social media.
  • Never use a propane heater in an enclosed space, and never leave any kind of heater, including electric, unattended.

Winterizing your home

  • Have flashlights, a portable radio, food, baby items, a first-aid kit, and a fire extinguisher on hand.
  • Clear gutters and downspouts so water can flow freely without creating an ice dam.
  • Insulate exposed pipes – if necessary, run a slow trickle of water to prevent pipes from freezing and bursting.  Know the location of water shut-off valves.
  • Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Replace weather stripping around doors and windows as needed.
  • Trim trees to remove dead limbs or those that could fall on your house when covered with snow.
  • Keep flammable materials away from heat sources.

Driving in frigid temperatures

  • As temperatures near zero, a moderate or poor battery may not be able to produce the chemical process needed to start the car.  When temperatures get that low, it’s often better to remain at home if you can.
  • If you must drive, bring extra clothes, blankets, gloves, a scarf, and warm headwear such as a beanie.
  • Remember other emergency kit items – snacks, water, a flashlight with fresh batteries, flares or reflectors, and basic tools.
  • Keep your gas tank topped off to avoid condensation.  At colder temperatures, diesel can freeze and turn to a gel as wax in the diesel crystallizes.  Check with your auto parts store for additives that may lower the freezing point.

“Safety is the first and highest priority during times of inclement weather,” says AAA Idaho public affairs director Matthew Conde.  “We urge everyone to limit their risk and exposure to dangerous conditions, and to notify friends and loved ones where you’re going if you do need to get behind the wheel or take other actions during an emergency.”