This week, just about everyone will feel like they are living in the Northeast. Temperatures are predicted to set records in just how low they can go at this time of year. Guess what? It is officially January in November.
But, like the hearty Northeasterners, we push into the cold and ministry must go on. One part of ministry that occurs week in and week out is transportation. Picking people up for church, running errands and other tasks don’t stop because it is cold. Many churches don’t realize that transportation ministry can be one of their largest risks. And those risks increase in extreme cold conditions. Below is a handy checklist from GuideOne insurance to use with your church vehicles this week. Check out their full article.
Top 10 Winter Preparations For Church Vehicles
- Antifreeze – Check the antifreeze level of your car and add more if necessary to prevent freezing.
- Heater and Defroster – Check to ensure that both the heater and defroster are functioning properly.
- Brakes – Check the thickness of the brake pads and also the amount of break dust that may be present. A thin break pad and a high level of dust may indicate the need to replace the pads. Additionally, be sure to check the level of brake fluid, and add more if necessary.
- Battery and Ignition System – Ensure battery terminals are clean and check that the system is working correctly.
- Exhaust System – Look for leaks or crimped pipes. These are common signs to repair or replace parts of the exhaust system.
- Windshield Wipers and Fluid – Repair any problems with the wipers and ensure you have enough wiper fluid. It also is important that you are using a winter mixture of wiper fluid.
- Lights and Emergency Flashers – Be sure all lights and flashers are in working condition.
- Tires – Replace tires without an adequate amount of tread. Any tire with less than 1/16 of an inch (1.6mm) of tread should be replaced. Also check the air pressure of each tire.
- Oil – Check oil levels and change if necessary.
- Fuel – Keep your gas tank near full to prevent the fuel line from freezing.
The most important thing to remember is that the week will be different. Take extra time and check items twice before rolling out onto the tundra. Frozen surfaces will be present. But also, the vehicles themselves will be responding differently. Fluids can freeze. Doors and latches can seem glued shut from the cold. And of course, batteries will go dead. Encourage your volunteers and staff to dress warmly (an extra blanket wouldn’t hurt) so that if they do get stuck, they are prepared and safe. Ministry will go on! But remember to wear your coat.