[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                               November 14, 2008

Winter preparations can start early

Personnel in the Fort McCoy community are encouraged to begin developing winter routines to help them persevere through the cold, snowy and icy months ahead.

According to the Fort McCoy Installation Safety Office (ISO), one of the best steps members of the installation work force can take to prepare for winter at the installation is to review and/or enact policies to shovel/salt entrances to their facilities. Employees also can consolidate overnight vehicle parking in their parking lots.

When snowy/icy conditions do occur, this practice will enable McCoy Public Works Joint Venture personnel to use snowplows to clear the parking lots more easily.

In addition to ensuring the most-frequently used entrances/exits to buildings are shoveled/sanded/salted, personnel also may want to keep in mind less-frequently used entrances/exits. Often these may be used in case of an emergency or by personnel unfamiliar with an area so they should be cleared, as well.

Other major winter safety issues for personnel in the Fort McCoy work force are injuries caused by accidental slips or falls. Wearing rubber-soled footwear versus leather-soled footwear can help reduce these types of incidents, according to the ISO.

The Ready Army campaign also notes that now is a good time to supplement the family emergency preparedness kit. Winter emergency items that could be added include rock salt, sand, snow shovels, adequate winter clothing and extra batteries for radios and flashlights.

Personnel also can take the time to winterize their vehicles. Some of the items that should be checked and corrected/repaired/replaced as necessary include windshield wipers and fluids, tire treads and pressure, brakes, antifreeze, headlights, oil, etc.

During freezing weather, motorists are encouraged to keep good visibility by thoroughly scraping or clearing front, side and rear windows of frost. Personnel also can check to ensure their homes are properly insulated and keep their vehicle gas tanks full to help prevent fuel lines from freezing and keeping vehicles ready for emergency use.

Additional winter safety tips are available from a number of Web sites, including http://www.ready.army.mil, http://www.ready.gov, http://www.acsim.army.mil/readyarmy/Winter_Storm_Fact_Sheet.pdf or http://www.ready.gov/america/beinformed/winter.html.

The ISO has a Safety Section on the Fort McCoy Extranet, which is available through the public Web site http://www.mccoy.army.mil. For more information in the Fort McCoy community, call (608) 388-3403.

(Some information in this story is from the Ready Army campaign.)


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