Preparing for Winter in the Mountains

05 Oct 2016 15:25 - 01 Sep 2019 17:52 #1 by MountainTownAlerts

Colorado Winter Weather Awareness & Travel Safety from

Winter Weather Preparedness by Weather Underground

9 Things You Need to Do Now to Prepare for Winter
By Mikey Rox on 7 November 2014
Make sure you keep your home, health, and sanity intact by taking the following preventative measures now.
  1. Slowly Condition Your Home to Cooler Temperatures
  2. Kick Rodents and Other Pests to the Curb
  3. Stock Up on Your Outdoor Hardware
  4. Clear Vents and Chimneys to Avoid Carbon Monoxide Mishaps
  5. Take Preventative Measures Against Pipe Freezing
  6. Visit Your Doctor or Local Pharmacy for a Flu Shot
  7. Outfit Your Car for Winter Weather
  8. Replace Shingles and Clean Your Gutters
  9. Consider the Well-Being of Your Mind and Body
15 Ways to Prepare Your Home for Winter
These steps, most of which you can do yourself, will help lower your utility bills and protect your investment.
  1. Tune Up Your Heating System
  2. Reverse Your Ceiling Fans
  3. Prevent Ice Dams
  4. Hit the Roof
  5. Caulk Around Windows and Doors
  6. Clean the Gutters
  7. Divert Water
  8. Turn Off Exterior Faucets
  9. Drain Your Lawn-Irrigation System
  10. Mulch Leaves When You Mow
  11. Prepare to Stow Your Mower
  12. Don't Prune Trees or Shrubs Until Late-Winter
  13. Test Your Sump Pump
  14. Call a Chimney Sweep
  15. Restock Winter Essentials

Preparing for Winter - Tree Health

Colorado has a wildly unpredictable winter. We can see temperature swings of forty to sixty degrees in just twenty-four hours. Winter can be either incredibly dry, or wet and snowy. Also, Colorado has over three hundred sunshine-filled days per year, meaning that during winter the sun can be shining bright and warm, but the temperature can still be freezing. All these conditions mean that Colorado tree owners need to take special steps to prepare for winter. Water in winter, wrapping the trunk, and fall fertilization can all help tackle water.


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01 Sep 2019 16:41 - 01 Sep 2019 16:42 #2 by MountainTownAlerts
Colorado's Chain Law
From Sept. 1 through May 31, all commercial vehicles traveling on I-70 between the Edwards exit (mile point (MP) 133) and the Morrison exit (MP 259) must carry sufficient chains to be in compliance with the Colorado chain law.

Colorado Chain Law Frequently Asked Questions

Chain Up Tips for Passenger & Small Commercial Vehicles

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Colorado Chain Law Fact Sheet (2015) from

Colorado's new I-70 traction law in effect from September to May
Author: Erin Powell, 9News | Published: August 30, 2019

DENVER — Attention, drivers who use Interstate 70: Colorado’s new winter traction law goes into effect on Sunday and lasts for nine months.

The law, signed by Gov. Polis in May 2019, said vehicles need to either have snow tires or carry some sort of traction device (like chains or tire socks) at all times if they’re not four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. The rule applies to the stretch of I-70 between Dotsero and Morrison, and it’s in effect from Sept. 1 to May 31, regardless of the forecast.

The new law also increased the minimum tire tread requirements to three-sixteenths of an inch.

CSP Trooper Gary Cutler told 9NEWS drivers should be aware that severe weather conditions can lead to stricter regulations.


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06 Oct 2019 17:25 #3 by MountainTownAlerts
Have you performed a quarter test on your tires yet?
New Campaign, Operation TireSafe, Calls on Coloradans to Check Tires Before Driving to Mountains
How do you know if you need new tires? The Quarter Test is a quick and easy way to assess if your tires meet the minimum tread depth (one-eighth-inch) during a Traction Law.
  • Insert a quarter into the tire tread upside down, with Washington's head going in first.
  • If the top of George's head is covered by the tread, your tires are OK. Do this test at multiple points around each tire.
  • If the top of his head is visible at any point around the tire, your tires won't meet the Traction Law minimum, and you should consider new tires.

Suggestions on how to winterize your car include:
  • Battery and ignition system should be in top condition and battery terminals clean
  • Ensure antifreeze levels are sufficient to avoid freezing
  • Ensure the heater and defroster work properly
  • Check and repair windshield wiper equipment; ensure proper washer fluid level
  • Ensure the thermostat works properly
  • Check lights and flashing hazard lights for serviceability
  • Check for leaks and crimped pipes in the exhaust system; repair or replace as necessary
  • Check breaks for wear and fluid levels
  • Check oil for level and weight - heavier oils congeal more at low temps
  • Consider snow tires, snow tires with studs or chains
  • Replace fuel and air filters - keep water out of the system by using additives and maintaining full tank
  • Remember to keep a winter weather emergency kit in your vehicle, just in case...
Winter Weather Vehicle Emergency Kit - more from READYColorado
  • Extra clothing, such as blankets, coats, hat and gloves
  • Shovel
  • Flares and jumper cables
  • Water and foods, such as trail mix and snacks

Driving safely on icy roads:
  • DO NOT PASS snow plows or sand trucks in operation!!!
  • Allow extra time for any travel
  • Decrease speed - stopping on ice and snow requires greater distance
  • Brake gently to avoid sliding or skidding
  • If your brakes do lock up, ease up on the brakes to regain traction
  • Use lower gears in poor conditions to maintain traction
  • Be careful when crossing bridges/overpasses as they will ice faster than roadways

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26 Oct 2019 19:03 #4 by MountainTownAlerts

Before the storm strikes, make sure your home, office and vehicles are stocked with the supplies you might need. Make sure farm animals and pets also have the essentials they will need during a winter storm. Know how to dress for varying degrees of cold weather.

–At Home and Work

Your primary concerns at home or work during a winter storm are loss of heat, power and telephone service and a shortage of supplies if storm conditions continue for more than a day. In either place, you should have available:
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Battery-powered NOAA Weather Radio and portable radio to receive emergency information
  • Extra food and water such as dried fruit, nuts, granola bars and other food requiring no cooking or refrigeration.
  • Extra prescription medicine
  • Baby items such as diapers and formula
  • First-aid supplies
  • Heating fuel: refuel before you are empty; fuel carriers may not reach you for days after a winter storm
  • Emergency heat source: fireplace, wood stove or space heater properly ventilated to prevent a fire
  • Fire extinguisher, smoke alarm; test smoke alarms monthly to ensure they work properly
  • Extra pet food and warm shelter for pets
  • Review generator safety: Never run a generator in an enclosed space
  • Make sure your carbon monoxide detector is working correctly and that the outside vent is clear of leaves and debris. During or after the storm, make sure it is cleared of snow.
  • Home fires are common each winter when trying to stay warm. Review ways to keep your home and loved ones safe.

–In Vehicles

Each year, on average, more than 5,000 people are killed and more than 418,000 are injured due to weather-related vehicle crashes. If you need to drive in snow or cold conditions, TAKE IT SLOW IN THE SNOW. Black ice can be difficult to see. If the temperature is near freezing, drive like you're on ice--you may be!

Before you leave the house, especially before a longer trip in winter, make sure all fluid levels are full and ensure that the lights, heater and windshield wipers are in proper condition. Keep your gas tank near full to avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines. Avoid traveling alone. Let someone know your timetable and primary and alternate routes. Then call 511 for the latest traffic and road incidents, including construction and weather conditions and restrictions. Every state offers this Department of Transportation service. Call before you leave; it might change your plans!

Fully check and winterize your vehicle before the winter season begins. Carry a Winter Storm Survival Kit that includes the following:
  • Mobile phone, charger, batteries
  • Blankets/sleeping bags
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • First-aid kit
  • Knife
  • High-calorie, non-perishable food
  • Extra clothing to keep dry
  • Large empty can to use as emergency toilet, tissues, toilet paper and paper towels
  • Small can and waterproof matches to melt snow for drinking water
  • Sack of sand or cat litter for traction
  • Shovel
  • Windshield scraper and brush
  • Tool kit
  • Tow rope
  • Battery booster cables
  • Water container
  • Candle and matches to provide light and in an emergency, lifesaving heat.
  • Compass and road maps, don't depend on mobile devices with limited battery life
–On the Farm, Pet Owners
  • Move animals to sheltered areas or bring pets inside. Shelter belts, properly laid out and oriented, are better protection for cattle than confining shelters, such as sheds.
  • Haul extra feed to nearby feeding areas.
  • Have water available. Most animals die from dehydration in winter storms.
  • Make sure pets have plenty of food and water and a warm shelter.

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