Holiday Season Greetings with Tips and Advice for a Safe and Happy Celebration
From all of us at Norwall PowerSystems to all of you, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Our office is closed on December 24 and December 25, 2018, for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and on January 1, 2019, for New Year’s Day. We’ve got some tips and advice for a safe and happy holiday season including travel and winter weather preparation.
While some of us hope for a white Christmas, we should all remember that winter weather adds another dimension to holiday travel and family gatherings. Whether you are traveling or hosting the family get together, take a little time to prepare.You’ll worry less and spend more time enjoying the day.
Traveling to visit relatives, rushing to complete the holiday shopping for gifts, decorations, and special meals have all become a part of the holiday tradition for many families.Some will turn to warm weather destinations on cruise ships or sandy beaches,others look to snowy landscapes for skiing, snowmobiling, and hiking out with the family to find the one and only perfect Christmas tree.
Home for the Holiday
The arrival of friends and family, whether just for the day or an extended stay, often means adjustments for small children, teens, and pets along with the adults.
Children without pets are often fascinated by the pets of others but lack the understanding to safely interact with them. It’s okay to pet and stroke, but not okay to poke noses and put hands in their mouth. Even the gentlest dog may inadvertently injure a child by knocking it down. Introduce children to your furry family members and show them how to pet and touch. Watch for warning signs that the animal is stressed or uncomfortable and give them a safe place to retreat like a crate or favorite room. Always supervise small children around pets.
Teens who have a meaningful role in the preparation and planning spend less time surfing on cell phones and texting and more time with the family. Give them an enjoyable part that requires some thought and make it fun.Plan for specific activities to include them or to enjoy with other relatives of similar age.
Preparing your home is just as important. Keep walks clear of ice and snow and the area around your standby generator. Fall and early winter are good times to perform preventative maintenance to ensure the generator starts easily and runs if a power outage hits. Imagine making Christmas dinner without any power. Those who use a portable generator for backup power should ensure fresh supplies of gasoline, check plugs and oil, and clean air filters.
Make sure the family car has everything it needs to safely navigate winter roads. Schedule maintenance with your auto tech or dealer in advance of the trip. The day of a storm is not the time to show up at your local dealer. Have the tires checked for worn treads and correct air pressure—lower temperatures decrease tire pressure. Change the oil and filter and have the air filter changed if necessary. Don’t forget to replace wipers more than six months old and sooner if they are leaving streaks.
Monitor the weather ahead of leaving for your trip. You may want to adjust travel times to leave ahead of storm or arrive after road crews finish cleanup. Avoid traveling during a winter weather warning and heed weather service advice not to travel during bad weather. Better to arrive safe and late than not at all.
Following a storm, it may take road crews a day or two to completely clear roads. Allow extra time to reach your destination. Keep the gas tank above half full. An extra stop or two may add a few minutes to the drive, but you’ll be glad to have the gas if you end up stranded somewhere.
Don’t forget a warm (wool) blanket for each adult or teen and a warm sleeping bag for smaller children. Pack bottled water and nutrient dense foods including nuts, trail mixes, protein bars, and hard candies. Chocolate bars add an energy boost and can help keep you warm for a short time. A three-wick candle kept in a coffee can raise inside the temperature in a stranded car by 10 to 15 degrees. Stick matches are best in freezing temperatures, but a BBQ lighter will also work. Warm it up in a pocket if it won’t light.