The coldest months of the year are here. While we love staying cozy indoors, the Midwest isn’t known for hibernating — Wisconsin proudly boasts a slew of winter activities from snowshoeing to ice fishing and everything in between. In fact, the Badger State is home to more than two dozen ski resorts cited as some of the best in the region!
The snowy weather that makes the season so fun can also make it dangerous, though. Follow these tips to keep your family safe during all your favorite winter pastimes.
Pay attention to the weather forecast
Midwest winter conditions can change quickly. Stay tuned to the local weather forecast — and don’t be afraid to change up your plans if a big snowstorm or cold snap is rolling in! Most weather apps let you set up notifications for a certain region, so you can stay in the loop without feeling glued to your phone.
Here are a few things to watch out for:
- Wind chill. Actual temperatures can be deceiving — a still, sunny day at 10 degrees might feel warmer than a windy, cloudy one at 20.
- Precipitation. Light, fluffy snow is generally safe to venture out in so long as it isn’t coming down too fast to clear from the roads. But be careful as the temperature rises — sleet and slush can pose a big travel threat.
Even if the temperature seems tolerable at first, prolonged exposure to the cold can cut right through your winter jacket. Don’t be afraid to wear more layers than you think you need — it’s always better to strip them off than to find yourself unprepared!
We suggest bringing:
- At least two layers of pants. Bonus if they’re designed to be snow and water resistant!
- Mittens that allow your fingers to stay together to best retain warmth.
- An extra sweatshirt (or two).
- A hat, ear muffs, or — best of all — a cold-weather mask that covers most of your face.
Stay moving — but don’t push too hard
Most winter pastimes involve physical activity, and for good reason: Sitting still too long in sub-freezing temperatures can increase your risk of hypothermia. Keeping your body moving will maintain blood flow, particularly throughout your sensitive extremities.
With that said, it’s also important not to over exert yourself. If you sweat too much and aren’t able to get out of the cold quickly, your clothes can stay wet — ultimately stealing the warmth your body desperately needs. Be especially careful to keep your hands and feet as dry as possible.
Don’t try new activities without guidance
Sports-related injuries aren’t fun at the best of times — but they’re especially dangerous in the cold weather months. If you’re thinking of taking up an activity like skiing or pond hockey, we recommend investing in at least a few beginner lessons first. At minimum? Bring a more experienced friend along!
Make sure your vehicle is in top shape
Winter roads provide unique driving challenges. Here are seven tips to keep your car at its best!
- Replace your headlights.
- Check your coolant levels.
- Don’t let the fuel tank run low.
- Keep tire pressure high.
- Check your defrost system.
- Make sure your battery is in good shape.
- Replace your wiper blades.
Deck your halls with care
More than 80 million Americans decorate their homes each winter, but unfortunately, thousands of these individuals end up in the emergency room for injuries they receive while decking the halls.
Follow these holiday lighting safety tips to make sure you don’t become one of them this season!
- Consider LED lights.
- Don’t decorate alone.
- Check your cords.
- Don’t hang lights with nails or screws.
- Unplug your lights before leaving.
- Supervise children and pets.
Lindow Insurance is here for you
Our team of hometown agents knows firsthand that you want to be out there enjoying the holiday season with your family — not stuck worrying about your insurance coverage if something goes wrong. That’s why we’re here for you every step of the way!
See for yourself how an independent insurance agent can fit into your life, and don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions you have.