|Servicemembers and civilian employees are advised to
make preparations to ensure their safety while traveling during the
upcoming winter and holiday season, according to the Fort McCoy
Installation Safety Office (ISO).
People who travel during the winter
months are encouraged to ensure their vehicle is winter-ready and they
are equipped with good sources to check for potential travel conditions
or inclement weather.
Vehicles can be prepared for winter at a maintenance facility, such
as the Fort McCoy Automotive Skills Center, building 1763, or a
commercial car maintenance center. Motorists also should develop and
carry an emergency car kit in their vehicles in case they meet with
unforeseen weather circumstances.
Sgt. 1st Class Jose Falconett of
the Dental Activity at Fort McCoy works on changing oil and a
car battery in preparation for winter.
(Photo by Rob Schuette)
Among the things that should be checked on vehicles are the antifreeze
to ensure it’s adequate and rotating tires or replacing them as
necessary to ensure that tires have sufficient tread depth for winter
traction. Authorized personnel can do these things at the Automotive
In addition, the heater, defroster, lights, brakes and windshield wipers
should be checked, and repaired or replaced if necessary, to ensure
they’re in good working condition.
Windshield washer tanks should be filled and gas tanks should be at
least half full at all times to help guard against gas lines freezing
and to provide adequate fuel in case motorists are stranded in their
vehicles during winter-weather conditions.
Deb Heise-Clark of the McCoy ISO said motorists should be aware of phone
numbers and Web sites that can provide information and/or assistance
during winter weather driving conditions.
Motorists in Wisconsin can call 511 on their cell phones to get road
conditions for the county they’re driving in.
This information also is available at a toll-free number 1-866-511-WISC
(9472). In addition, road conditions can be accessed online by going to
the Web site
Current weather conditions for selected Wisconsin locations are
available at the Web site
Another key to safe travel during winter months is to plan ahead and
observe good winter driving safety practices. This includes driving with
headlights on because it makes vehicles easier to see.
Motorists also should slow down in inclement weather and allow extra
time to reach their destinations.
Heise-Clark said winter survival kits also can be critical to ensure
safety. Some of the items that should be in the kit include essential
winter-survival gear. This can include a first-aid kit or medical
supplies, extra clothing, a blanket, outdoor winter clothing, and
emergency nourishment and other nonperishable food, such as granola
Among the other suggested items to have on hand are a shovel, tool kits
and booster cables, and a windshield scraper and brush.
Military personnel taking trips during the holidays are encouraged to
use the Travel Risk Planning System (TRiPS), which is available through
the Combat Readiness Center Web site at
TRiPS is an online, automated program that has users answer questions
and based on the answer to those questions the program reveals actual
accidents that have occurred in similar situations. The program analyzes
and assigns a level of risk to travel plans, along with control measures
used to lower the risk level. The program also shows basic driving
directions to various destinations.
The ISO also has information about a number of safety topics available
at the Fort McCoy Extranet. Access is available from the Fort McCoy
Corporate Network or from the public Web site at
Access requires an Army Knowledge Online account. For more information
in the Fort McCoy community, people also can call the ISO at