We have had a small taste of Old Man Winter already. So we did not get any of the forecasted bad weather over night. But that does not mean we are in the clear.  As we all know the weather here in Oklahoma is fickle and can change at the drop of a hat.

But with the holidays upon us so comes the traveling that goes hand in hand. Now is the time to prepare for wintertime travel. The last thing you need is to get caught in a storm and not have the necessities to make it through.

One of the first things you need to have is a planned route and before trekking out, check road conditions where you are heading to. Especially if inclimate weather is in the forecast. ODOT has plenty of links for the surrounding states as well.

Next, ensure that you have essential items in the car. These include: Blankets or a sleeping bag, flashlight with extra batteries. (There are even self charging flashlights with cell phone chargers.)

A must for the vehicle regardless of the wether is a first aid kit. A knife and some high high-calorie, non-perishable food. Bottled water or gatorade.  Also carry a large empty can and plastic cover with tissues and paper towels for sanitary purposes.

Sack of sand (or cat litter) for tire traction and a shovel. Extra clothing to keep dry for all of the vehicle occupants.

Some other tips for travel in the winter, keep the gas tank full (if at all possible), this will help keep the gas line from freezing.  Try not to travel alone, especially in unfamiliar places. Be sure to give your travel itinerary to people so if something does go wrong they know where you are at.

It is not too late to have your vehicle winterized. Take it to where you normally have it serviced and have them check it top to bottom.  Tire tread, hoses, belts, fluids, everything. The last thing is to get stranded and it be something simple that could have been avoided.

Watch the local weather for the area you are planning on traveling to. If you see the chance of inclimate weather, alter your route or change the time of travel to avoid any delays by being stuck on the road.

If you find yourself getting into bad weather, drive on the defense. Use all safety precautions such as distance between other vehicles, use headlights. And most all have patience.  If you do get stranded, again, have patience.  Assistance will be along as soon as they can. Remember, you may not be the only once stranded.