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Are you and your car winter ready? Let Hometown help you prepare!

girl-snow-scrapeBy Joan LaFemina

    1. Before the storms arrive, review your insurance coverage for you and your vehicles.
    2. If you don’t have roadside assistance, and coverage for theft of personal items, now may be a good time to talk to your agent. It is relatively inexpensive.
    3. If you start to skid, DO NOT PANIC, angle your vehicle in the direction of the skid and DO NOT slam on the brakes or gas. Braking or accelerating quickly can make the skid worse. Take it slow.
    4. Bring your car in early for a tune-up and winterizing. Sometimes you go to the doctor for prevention, well, so should your car! Safety items for you or your mechanic to check:
      • Appropriate tires and pressure: treads should be in good repair
      • Fluid levels: windshield wiper, brake and antifreeze
      • Oil change status and consider the proper oil weight for lower temperature operating efficiency
      • Brakes for wear and response time
      • Condition and working order of your:
        • Battery and ignition system
        • Fuel and air filters
        • heater and defroster
        • Lights and flashing hazard lights
        • Thermostat
        • Windshield wiper equipment
        • Exhaust system – keep it clear of snow too!


The following is an excerpt from

In case you are stranded, keep a kit of emergency supplies in your car.

This kit should include:

  • Jumper cables
  • Flashlights and extra batteries
  • First aid kit and necessary medications in case you are away from home for a prolonged time
  • Food items containing protein such as nuts and energy bars; canned fruit and a portable can opener
  • Water for each person and pet in your car
  • AM/FM radio to listen to traffic reports and emergency messages
  • Cat litter or sand for better tire traction
  • Shovel
  • Ice scraper
  • Warm clothes, gloves, hat, sturdy boots, jacket and an extra change of clothes
  • Blankets or sleeping bags
  • A fully-charged cell phone and phone charger
  • Flares or reflective triangle
  • Baby formula and diapers if you have a small child

Be prepared for an emergency by keeping your gas tank full and if you find yourself stranded, be safe and stay in your car, use your heat intermittently, put on your flashers, call for help and wait until it arrives.

And above all, keep your sense of calm and humor and you will come through this winter like a champ!

Contact your helpful Hometown Insurance Independent Insurance agent to review your auto insurance and obtain group discounts for Firefighters, EMTs and other community helpers by calling 1-800-568-SAVE (7283) or email us at

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