Orlando, Fla. — And here we go. Starting 2018!
— and seeing a few things in Florida that had not happened since twenty eight years ago. Snowing in Florida! The complete panhandle all the way down to Gainesville.
This was a pleasant surprise for many, since they , especially kids will have the experience for the first time, and at least we know it won’t last nor it will be as cruel as the U.S East Coast will have it.
Still, we have to deal with dangerous driving conditions. Being a state known to be the favorite escape for snowbirds, once we have these types of unexpected changes our reaction is to: Freak Out!
What to wear? What do you mean by no more flip-flops? Ah, and don’t forget you need to add 30 minutes to your morning departure to defrost your windshield. Of course, we don’t use scrappers and cranking up the defroster in your car will take you a few minutes before you are able to have reasonable visibility to drive.
How to drive safely in snow, sleet, ice and hail
• Bridges freeze before roads. This occurs because a bridge is in contact with freezing air from all sides. A road is in contact only with the air above it.
• Be cautious — you never know if there is a sheet of ice underneath the snow.
• Drive in the tire tracks of other vehicles as there will be more traction in these areas.
• Be careful when changing lanes. The area between lanes may have a buildup of crunchy ice, which should be avoided. If you must change lanes, do so gradually while holding the steering wheel firmly.
• All snow is different, so testing is necessary. When you first get on the road, test your brakes to gauge how they react to the conditions.
• Beware of “black ice.” It is ice that forms with almost no air bubbles, which makes the ice transparent and appears the same color as the road surface. On asphalt or dark-colored roads, this ice appears black. Black ice is extremely dangerous because it is so difficult to see. The only way you will know if you have hit a patch of black ice is that you will start sliding. Take your foot off the gas pedal and do not step on the brake; continue driving straight. Hopefully, the patch will end soon and you will be back in control on the road again.
• Stay in the right lane. There is no need to drive quickly in snowy or icy conditions. If at all possible, avoid driving under these conditions.
Our friends who come from the north still find it nice and warm compared to their previous experiences and you may see them around with lighter cover because this weather doesn’t bother them.
Although no snow was seen down south, we did have a frost warning. With that, a few things are to be considered:
The five P’s of Cold Weather
People - Dress in layers to add and remove as you get in and out of places with warmer temperature.
Pets - Need to be brought inside. An alternate potty in-house area might be helpful since some dogs have sensitive paws or just don’t like the idea of walking in the cold, mostly because they’re just not used to.
Plants - Need to be covered. Even plants that are hardy to your zone can be hit hard when planted in a container in the winter. Although the top part of a plant has the ability to go dormant, the roots don't.
Pipes - You must allow outside faucets to slowly drip. Draining the outside faucet is critical, because standing water between the inside shut-off valve and the outdoor faucet can freeze and break both the fixture and shut-off valve.
Practice Fire Safety - Unfortunately, heating is the second leading cause of home fires. Orlando Fire Department would like to keep you safe as the temperatures dip. Use safe fire heating sources inside the house. Also,
• Do NOT leave any heating unit unattended.
• Keep anything (furniture, fabric, toys, etc) that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment.
• Do not store combustible materials in the same room as heating sources.
• Install and maintain smoke alarms and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms to avoid the risk of CO poisoning. If you are a City of Orlando resident and are in need of a smoke alarm, click here to request your free smoke alarm.
• Never use stove-top burners or an oven to heat your home. Doing so puts you and your family at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, burns from hot surfaces and fires.
Of course we are concerned about your safety and prevention is key. However, if you consider insurance protection for any damages caused by this kind of extreme weather, our experts — home insurance and car insurance specialists in addition to general liability among many other types of coverage, are here to answer your questions.
ENJOY LIFE RESPONSIBLY!