Common sense a must in winter |

Common sense a must in winter

Forecasters are predicting the best holiday gift of all for local businesses — a massive storm the week before schools are let out for two weeks.

Mounds of white stuff will mean all ski resorts should have plenty of snow to fire up those chair lifts that have sat idle since last season.

Caltrans is so confident with the forecast that it is deploying extra workers to Highway 50 and Interstate 80 to cope with the masses expected to be driving into the Lake Tahoe Basin.

It never hurts to be reminded that as much joy as a few feet of snow can bring to people living at Lake Tahoe, some common sense needs to be heeded.

Four-wheel drive is the norm up here, as it is with many Californians and Nevadans. But this does not give people a license to drive without caution. It is still imperative to drive the speed limit for the conditions not what you think you or your vehicle can handle. Stopping time decreases when the roads are slick. Tailgating should not even cross your mind.

Black ice can be deadly. There are places on major thoroughfares that are prone to this phenomenon — not just the back roads.

It is easy to lock your brakes in winter conditions. Brakes are often not your friend. Running into a snow bank is better than skidding out of control. And if you do start to slide, remember to steer into the slide (which is completely counter-intuitive) and not make abrupt steering maneuvers.

It is a good idea to stock up on food. Yes, store shelves really do empty out if the trucks cannot get over the pass. Add some candles, matches, flashlights and batteries to the list.

Remember, if the power does go out, charcoal grills are an outdoor cooking/heating tool. Never bring them inside — the invisible toxins will kill you.

Fill up the snowblower gas tank before the snow flies. Gas stations are notorious for having long lines with people who forgot to fill the machines before the storm.

Shovels should be at the ready and still in the store.

Firewood should be covered up and at the ready.

Winter may still officially be a week off, but the weather gurus are saying otherwise.

Be safe out there and use common sense in dealing with winter.

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