Though the southeast hasn't been hit very hard with its first snowfall yet, it's only a matter of time before Mother Nature covers the area in a blanket of snow.

Tyler McMurchy, media relations with SGI, says that there is a lot you can do to prepare for winter before the first snowfall hits.

"We recommend that you get a winter precheck if possible," he said. "We know while there is the cost associated with that, in the end, it can be less costly than battery boosts, tows, and being late, and a lot less annoying. We advise that you pay special attention to your heater and defroster and that you add anti-freeze to your radiator."

McMurchy says that in Saskatchewan it's possible to be driving in winter conditions for five months, so it is important to get winter tires.

"Tires are one of the most important features of your vehicle and can make a difference when it comes to your vehicles manoeuvrability, performance and safety," he said. "Installing winter tires on all four wheels during the winter and making sure their properly inflated and maintained will provide an added safety benefit because you will get that improved traction on snowy and icy roads.

McMurchy says that they advise people who are getting ready to drive to wipe the loose snow off the hood of their vehicle, so it doesn't blow into the windshield and obstruct visibility. He says they also suggest drivers make sure their headlights, taillights, and licence plants are clear, and to make sure their windows are completely defrosted.

McMurchy says people should give themselves extra time to reach their destination.

"Those posted speed limits are for ideal driving conditions, so we advise drivers to adjust their speed accordingly when conditions are less than favourable," he said. "Especially when roads are icy, or there is low visibility. Slow down and give yourself plenty of room to other drivers as well, follow at least three seconds behind drivers because even if you're driving safely the other person might not be so you want to have adequate time to react."

McMurchy adds that every person should have an emergency travel kit - especially when headed into the really cold months - with things like blankets, booster cables, a shovel, non-perishable food items, and "even a candle and a tin cup to melt snow for water in case you were to get stuck in a ditch in real blizzard conditions."

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