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Winter safety tips

Sgt. Dannie Green, 128th Military Police Company, Alabama National Guard, installs snow chains on Humvees in preparation for winter storm response in Fort Payne, Alabama, Jan.6, 2017. (Photo by Army Sgt. William Frye.)

Sgt. Dannie Green, 128th Military Police Company, Alabama National Guard, installs snow chains on Humvees in preparation for winter storm response in Fort Payne, Alabama, Jan.6, 2017. (Photo by Army Sgt. William Frye.)

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass.Of all the weather that sweeps through the New England area, winter conditions can be the most unpredictable. As the temperature drops, frost, snow, ice and wind can take their toll on more than just the roads. 

The Hanscom Safety office is offering tips to keep Airmen and their families safe and warm through the winter months.

“We always want to remind people to plan ahead and expect the unexpected through the winter,” said Tech. Sgt. Christopher Gransbury, acting superintendent of 66th Air Base Group Occupational Safety here.

Gransbury reminds drivers to always clear snow off vehicles and allow enough time for windshields to defrost before driving. He also recommends leaving more room between vehicles on the road and reducing speeds to minimize sliding.

“The posted speed limits tell you how fast you can go, but the weather tells us how fast we really should go,” he said.

Before driving through snowy conditions, ensure the gas tank is full, tires have enough tread and that brakes have been serviced within the last 5,000 miles. Additionally, keep nonperishable snacks in the vehicle, along with blankets and extra sets of hats and mittens to avoid frostbite, as well as tow straps and reflective gear in the event the vehicle becomes stuck.

“If you don’t have to commute or be on the roads, we always recommend staying home during inclement weather,” he said. “It really just causes congestion and makes it difficult to clear the roads, resulting in more unsafe conditions.”

Members of the community should call the COLD Line at 781-225-2653 for the most up-to-date information and should sign up for AtHoc notifications.  People can also visit https://www.hanscom.af.mil/  to check base operational status, though the website is updated remotely and may be subject to latency.

Safety officials also remind community members to pay close attention to space heaters and other heat sources through the winter. Personnel should not plug heaters into surge protectors, including furniture or cubicle outlets, and unplug them when unattended.  

Additionally, homes should have carbon monoxide monitors installed no higher than three feet from the ground.  

“If everyone just takes the extra time to make sure they’re prepared, there’s nothing stopping us from enjoying the winter,” said Gransbury.

For more information and seasonal safety tips, contact the Hanscom Safety Office at (781) 225-5583 or visit the Safety SharePoint site at https://cs2.eis.af.mil/sites/12410/default.aspx.