What should you have in your car for winter traveling... even in Bellingham

We still have three more weeks of winter, even as the snowdrops and crocuses are starting to bloom here in Bellingham. And yet snow is on the way, in the forecast for tomorrow. This is great news for skiers and other travelers who love to revel in the snow. Before you head out, do you have the right gear in case of a roadside emergency? Here are some things every driver should do to prepare for the season, as well as must-haves packed in the trunk.

  • Check your tires! Checking air pressure is a good idea when temperatures drop, as they can lose pressure. Nobody wants a flat on a snowy, icy roadway. (While you're at it, read this post on what to do if you get a flat tire, just in case.)
  • Take your vehicle to the shop and get a winter maintenance check-up. Be sure the mechanic checks your battery, belts, hoses, radiator, lights, brakes, heater/defroster and windshield wipers. 
  • Keep your tank half full (for the optimists), otherwise don't let it fall below half empty (in case you didn't get it the first time).
  • Program your radio for traffic reports and emergency messages. Here in Washington, that's AM radio 530 and 1610.
  • Make sure you've got a roadside emergency bag with the following: flashlight, batteries, blanket, snacks, water, gloves, boots, first-aid kit.
  • Keep an ice scraper/snowbrush handy. Make sure you're the one with jumper cables in case you need one or you can help give one. Road flares are another must.

Here's a link to more ideas, just in case the apocalypse comes: 13 Common Sense Items you Need in a Winter Vehicle Emergency Kit

For those of you who are ready for spring, here are some things to look forward to: Things to do in Bellingham in the Spring

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