El Niño Weather Brings Changes

By Martin Tirado
The strong El Niño pattern across North America has created snow and ice storms in unlikely places and unusually warm weather in normally cold areas. SIMA’s tips on how to deal with winter weather were first published by local media in Albuquerque, NM as a result of Winter Storm Goliath, as opposed to Buffalo, NY whose warm weather set records.   

Heavy rains are hitting drought ravaged California, little to no snow in the Northeast and Atlantic Coast, and arctic cold is on its way. So what’s next?

Most likely snow and ice storms will be coming in many places in the US and Canada. Snow plowers will be working and the public will need to take caution as to how serious conditions can get in these storms. Pass along these tips to your customers, business contacts and even friends and family who need to stay safe in winter storm conditions. The next Goliath type storm will come, be sure you are prepared for it.

TIP #1: Wear proper shoes. While fashion is great, the right shoes to navigate snow and ice place the entire foot on the surface of the ground and have visible, heavy treads and a flat bottom.

TIP #2: Be prepared. Have an ice scraper and brush in your car – not in the trunk, as snow may make it difficult to open the trunk. Have a full tank of gas; check the tire pressure, battery, and oil. Wear the proper clothing – boots, gloves, hats, scarves, etc., and take extra clothes. Charge your cell phone before leaving home and take a car charger. Carry a safe winter car kit containing items such as kitty litter, rock salt, a shovel, a blanket, flares, water, etc. 

TIP #3: No need for speed. Slow down. The time you need to stop, the possibility of sliding increases when it starts to snow or in freezing conditions. 

TIP #4: Check the weather reports. Listen to the news to hear about your local road conditions. Pay attention to what roads are impassable and plan another route if those routes affect you. If the roads are hazardous or closed, stay home.