Ahead of Cold Snap, AAA Offers Preparation Tips

HYANNIS – With frigid conditions expected to impact Cape Cod and the Islands over the weekend, AAA Northeast is offering tips to ensure that residents stay safe and cars continue to run reliably.

As of the time of publication, the National Weather Service reports that a wind chill warning will be in effect from 10 a.m. Friday, February 3 through 10 o’clock the next morning.

Temperatures are slated to drop to around 10 degrees by Friday afternoon, while wind chill values on Saturday could be as low as about 30 degrees below zero.

Vice President of Public and Government Affairs with AAA Northeast Mary Maguire explained car batteries should at least be examined prior to the cold snap.

She adds that batteries lose about a third of their power at freezing temperatures as well as roughly half of their power–and upwards of 60%–when it drops below zero.

“If your battery is on the edge at this point, if it’s five years old or older, this could be the weekend that really paralyzes it permanently,” Maguire said.

Maguire recommends proactively testing car batteries to ensure their status prior to extreme weather events.

AAA also recommends checking tire pressure, as they often deflate amid cold temperatures. Maguire noted that properly inflated tires improve both traction and fuel efficiency.

Emergency kits should also be prepared by drivers, according to Maguire. Items such as jumper cables, flashlights, and wiper fluid would be essential things to remember before hitting the road this weekend, along with warm clothing.

“Especially if you’re traveling with small children, you want to make sure you have blankets, warm clothing, water, snacks–all of those things that are going to become very important to you if you do have to wait for help at the road side,” Maguire continued.

If drivers need to wait for service, Maguire advises to run car heat in cycles.

Windows should also be cracked to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Passengers are warned to keep their seatbelts on if they’re waiting for assistance inside of vehicles.

For more information, visit AAA’s website by clicking here.

About Brendan Fitzpatrick

Brendan, a recent graduate from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is one of the newest members of the CapeCod.com NewsCenter team. When not on the beat, you'll probably find him watching Boston sports.

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