Preparing to travel in frigid temperatures

By Chad Weber

December 30, 2013 Updated Dec 31, 2013 at 11:26 AM CDT

CENTRAL ILLINOIS -- Goodyear store manager Paul Brenkman's garage is already full of cold weather casualties.

"We've got cars out there right now with bad batteries, thermostats that have gone bad, cooling systems that aren't maintained properly," said Brenkman.

It's a pattern he sees every year. Reaction instead of prevention.

Brenkman said batteries are the most common problem when the cold weather hits but your travel checklist should also include: antifreeze, wiper blades, making sure you have jumper cables and flares, and checking the air pressure and tread on your tires

"Wherever your getting your oil changed you need to make sure they're checking your battery for you, checking your anti-freeze levels," said Brenkman.

If the worst does happen and your vehicle breaks downs in the cold, the Red Cross says being prepared can make the difference.

"Blankets are important as well as food and snacks especially high energy foods like granola bars, dried fruit, lots of water obviously," said Glen Harris of the Red Cross. "Having a flashlight also because it's darker generally in the winter months."

Harris also said to bring extra winter clothing, charge your cell phone before the trip, and have a first aid kit handy.

So when hitting the roads, make sure to start your travels out right with a new year's resolution of preparedness.