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Winter Weather Awareness Week

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La Crosse, WI (WXOW) -

Winter Weather Awareness Week began November 6 in Wisconsin and will continue through the end of the week.

With the recent cold snap, now is the best time to get things in order. You should have the essentials ready just in case of a break down in cold weather. You should also be sure your car is up to date on maintenance.

If the sight of a flurry or two gives you a headache or makes your heart start to race, then that's a tell tale sign you should get ready for winter now rather than later. Keith Butler, the Emergency Management Coordinator for La Crosse County, said "What we've seen in the northern third of the state is already alarming. Up in the Duluth area, they've already had a foot of snow. I think right now would be a little smarter than waiting to the end of November. We may not see that huge snowfall until December, but you never know. Let's take care of business now."

Taking care of business seems to be just what many are already doing. Murphy's Frame and Axle in La Crosse is already busy with cars and customers getting ready for winter. Now would be a good time to go through a checklist of some things to get maintained on your car before the first significant snowfall. Scott Peterson, an alignment specialist at Murphy's Frame and Axle has a run down on the top three things to make sure you have done. "Your battery. Check your battery and your charging system. Check your tires to make sure you have good tread on your tires. Also, your coolant. In most shops, if you take your car there, they'll probably test your battery free and charging system. Most of the parts places will do it as well."

When it comes to tires, you may be able to squeak by with all season tires, but the safest option would be to get snow tires. Peterson adds, "Snow tires are absolutely night and day difference even compared to all season tires. The grip, your stopping, acceleration, everything about them. They are made for winter driving."

Now that your car is up to snuff, make sure the stuff you have inside is as well. Having a first aid kit and other essentials like a warm change of clothes will help tremendously in case you break down in cold, snowy weather. Keith Butler said, "Make sure you have that blanket. Make sure you've got the things to keep you warm. Anything you might need, you won't be able to get once you're in the ditch. Have it with you ahead of time. It's just that simple."

More information on preparing a survival kit and other winter weather safety tips

A good reminder this winter is when there is ice and snow, take it slow. 

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