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Winter Weather: How to Prepare Your Car and Yourself

Temperatures are dropping, the sun is setting sooner, and the roadways are becoming more and more slick. Despite all these tell-tale signs of a cold, dark winter, people still need to get to work in these oftentimes dangerous conditions. When winter weather strikes, a typical commute can become deadly. GrapeTree wants to ensure you are prepared for any situation you may find yourself in this winter so you can arrive at your shifts promptly and most importantly, safely.

How to prepare your car.

It is important to prepare your car for the cold treks you will be embarking on. Below are a few tips on how to best prepare your car for your commute:

  • Warm up your car before driving → This can ensure both the engine – and you – will be warm for the commute! It is suggested to let your car warm up for 20 minutes or longer.

  • Pack an emergency kit in your car → Include in your emergency kit the following:

    • Jumper cables

    • Shovel

    • Ice scraper

    • Extra winter clothes

    • Cell phone charger

    • Water/perishable food

  • Clean off the entirety of your car → Before you embark on your commute, be sure to clean off all the snow from your car so your view is not obstructed in any way.

  • Keep up with annual maintenance of your car → Keeping up with checkups is important to ensure your vehicle is in prime shape to take on wintertime. Rotating your car’s tires, regular oil changes, and other upkeep will help your car run easier.

How to prepare yourself.

Preparing your car is only one half of ensuring a safe commute. There are numerous other ways for you to get ready for the roadways!

One of the most important ways to prepare is to give yourself plenty of time to drive to and arrive at your destination. Leave earlier, drive slower, and remain cognizant of shifting weather patterns and snowbank roadblocks. If you are unable to leave earlier or return home after your shift is complete, you may want to look into any overnight housing options the facility you’re working at offers, which your Staffing Specialist can assist you with!

What to do if you find yourself in jeopardy of missing a shift.

If you have made all reasonable efforts to travel to your shift but failed due to the weather, communication is key, and you must notify your Staffing Specialist prior to your shift start time, or as soon as possible. The preferred way to communicate with your Staffing Specialist or the Staffing Department is through a phone call. Make sure you know your staffer’s phone number and are communicating with them efficiently and effectively, or you can always reach the Staffing Department 24/7 at (712) 336-0800 ext. 2704.

Please ensure you are making every effort to make it to your assigned shift(s). Facilities and patients rely on us to provide excellent care, so we want to make sure we arrive on time as safely as possible.

Most of all, it is important to remain calm. Life happens and so does Mother Nature. Oftentimes, things can be out of our own personal control. We highly encourage you to follow the tips above to do everything in your power to show up for your shift without putting yourself at risk.

Find yourself in unfamiliar territory or in need of updates on local road conditions?

For your local road conditions, or if you are a travel nurse from out of state and unfamiliar with roadway information, please use the list below as a resource.

Illinois | 800-452-4368 |

Indiana | 800-261-7623 |

Kansas | 511 |

Michigan | 517-241-2400 |

Minnesota | 511 |

Missouri | 511 |

Nebraska | 511 |

Ohio | 614-466-7170 |

Pennsylvania | 511 |

South Dakota | 511 |


Are you a pro with all things winter wonderland? Drop your tips below for others!

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