Winter safety tips to help stay prepared this season


February 16, 2021

Nashville has had rough, icy winters recently, so be ready this time around with these winter safety tips.

We like ice in our iced tea, but not on our roads or in our water pipes. Unfortunately, we can’t control Old Man Winter. That’s why it’s important to stay alert to weather advisories and be prepared for those wet, slick and cold days.

Stay away from icy, winter traffic

Winter weather is intermittent in the Mid-South. That’s why cities such as Nashville and Atlanta don’t have the infrastructure, like extra snowplows or salt trucks, to handle big surprises. Listen to the news and heed advisories not to travel in hazardous conditions unless necessary.

Create a winter safety kit

Keep a winter survival kit in your vehicle in case you do get caught in an ice- or snow-pocalypse that traps folks in gridlock. At the minimum, stash a blanket, jug of water, energy bars, gloves and hat. Cat litter works great for traction in case you slide into a ditch. A snow shovel might come in handy, too. For a more comprehensive kit, (necessary if road tripping to a northern climate) see this list. If you stall out in extreme cold, stay with your vehicle until help arrives.

Avoid frozen car doors

To prevent frozen car doors, spray a rag with cooking spray and rub it on the frame and seal. If you’re contending with a stuck door, try pushing the door in a bit to break up the ice. If it still doesn’t budge, pour warm water (not boiling or you risk damage) around the seal of the door.

Prevent frozen water pipes

Water pipes aren’t buried as deep in the South and they often aren’t as insulated in homes as they are in northern regions. If forecasters predict temps to drop below freezing, turn on a faucet to a slow trickle or drip, to let water move through the pipes and resist freezing.

Be prepared for excessive snow & ice

Keep a few water jugs on hand throughout the winter just in case you end up with frozen pipes on a day the roads are iffy. Pay attention to weather forecasts and keep the pantry and fridge stocked, too. That way you won’t be part of the crowd scrambling to buy eggs, milk and bread at the last minute. Outages are common when ice weighs down power lines, so make sure you have flashlights handy.

While you’re at it, check out our best safety tips for this season and more.