Monthly Archives: January 2017

Winter Weather Driving Tips

Tips from a police officer about winter driving

Slip Sliding Away – The Woes of Winter Driving

As the manager of The Storage Inn Self Storage here in Egg Harbor Township New Jersey, I get to speak to a lot of different people. Recently I had a conversation with one of our storage space customers, an officer from the Atlantic County Sheriff’s Department (We donate storage space for their annual Toys 4 Kids toy drive). I was curious to hear what he thought about the area residents and driving in the snow. You see, although I have lived in Southern New Jersey for a number of years, I have also lived in the mountains of Pennsylvania, where a 10 inch snowfall barely slows them down. During my time in Southern New Jersey I have noticed a couple of things – we don’t get nearly as much snow as Pennsylvania, and even though there are virtually no hills in extreme Southern New Jersey, many people do not seem to be, shall we say, ”comfortable” driving in the snow.


When I asked officer DiPiano about this, he just smiled and said “ No practice! – It’s kind of like basketball. If you only played five or six times a year, you probably never would get really good at it.” So I asked him what people in this area could do to be prepared for the occasional bout with winter driving. He replied “ If you don’t get much practice driving in the snow, you need to memorize some basic rules”. Here are officer DiPiano’s 5 tips for driving in snowy weather.

1. Stay Home – If you’re not comfortable driving in the snow, and you do not absolutely have to go somewhere, stay home and be safe.
2. Your 4 wheel drive does not make you invincible – While vehicles with four-wheel drive typically do perform better in snowy and icy driving conditions, the technology can backfire by giving drivers a false sense of safety. It does not mean that you can race down the road at top speed in the snow and bring yourself to a quick stop.
3. Be prepared – To ready your car for the winter, check your tires for correct inflation and sufficient tread for driving in the snow. Check your antifreeze levels and battery power and make sure that your defroster and rear window defogger work.
4. Back Off ! – Many people inexperienced with driving in the snow will tailgate the vehicle in front of them. Like driving too fast, this lessens your reaction time.It’s recommended that you double your normal distance between cars – 2-4 car length for every 10 miles per hour of speed. You should also be looking ahead for stoplights, stop signs and curves in the road so you can give yourself adequate time to brake or steer around them.


5. DO NOT slam on the brakes – When you feel your tires start to slip, it’s easy to panic and slam on the brakes. Don’t do it — this removes traction from your tires, taking away your ability to control your vehicle. What you should do when you feel yourself begin to skid is ease off the accelerator and let the car slow down on its own. A moving tire means that there is still some traction, which is what you need to steer yourself out of a collision. If braking is required and your vehicle comes with an anti-lock brake system, brake with steady, even pressure. If your car doesn’t have ABS, then you should pump the brakes. When handling snow-covered corners, you should begin a steady braking as you approach the turn. Once in the corner, ease off the brakes and use the car’s remaining traction to steer through the turn.

There you have it – Officer DiPiano’s 5 tips for occasional snow drivers. Hopefully these tips will help you to navigate the rest of the winter. I personally cannot wait until the next snow – I promised my granddaughter that I would take her sledding. Now. if I could only find a hill…

Chicken Soup

Favorite Winter Comfort Foods

It’s Mmmmm Mmmmm good in the Winter!

It is the end of January here at The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, and there have been some very cold days lately, but that doesn’t stop our customers from shuttling in and out of their storage spaces. Lately I’ve noticed people storing holiday decorations, as well as removing exercise equipment, presumably in an effort to renew their commitment to better health in the new year.
Earlier this week, on a particularly cold day, one of our customers, Jodi, stopped Into the office to purchase some moving boxes for the items that she was putting into her eht storage unit. “Cold enough for you?” I asked. “I’m freezing” she answered  “I can’t wait to get home and have a nice bowl of hot soup!” she said as she took her boxes and headed to her car. Her soup sounded really good to me, so I decided to do a thoroughly unscientific polling of our customers as to their favorite winter comfort foods. Here some of our Storage Inn customer’s favorites!

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Soup – Of course! Who doesn’t love a hot bowl of soup on a cold Winter’s day?  The two favorites seem to be chicken noodle, and tomato.

Hot ChocolateMmmmmm.. The real chocolaty kind with the tiny little marshmallows floating on top!  Not surprisingly, this one was offered up by one of our customer’s children.

Fried Chicken and Mashed PotatoesYes please – Make my chicken extra crispy!

Grilled Cheese – Cooked just right, so that the gooey cheese stretches between the two halves when you pull the sandwich apart!  These people should get together with the soup people.

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Sloppy JoesWell, a burger is just a burger, but a sloppy joe, with a slice of American cheese – Now that’s comfort food!

Macaroni and Cheese – The cheesier the better – BTW goes well with sloppy joes!

Chicken Pot Pie – One of my favorites! I like mine with salt and pepper and a little bit of butter melted on the crust. Mmmmmm!

Spaghetti and Meatballs – A good choice any time of year, but really goes well at the end of a cold day spent outside.

Chili – There’s nothing like a simmering pot of chili. Whether you like it hot or mild, with meat or without, the combination of beans, onions, peppers, mushrooms and spices are impossible to resist when you’re cozy at home and it’s chilly outside.

Homemade Beef Stew  – You know, the type that simmers in the giant stew pot all day long, until the flavors of the beef, vegetables, and spices are mixed just right. Don’t forget the buttered rolls!

Well, there you have it – The official Storage Inn customer’s list of their favorite Winter Comfort Foods. Well, my shift is almost over, and I can’t wait to head home, but first I will be stopping off at the grocery store for Sloppy Joe mix, rolls, and hot chocolate – so much for my New Year’s diet!

Baby It's Cold Outside

A Few Tips for Surviving Winter

Baby It’s Cold Outside!

The start of January here at The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township came with a lot of snow! When it was first starting to fall a few days ago, it had made for a pretty quiet morning here at the office, but then a car pulled into the parking lot. I recognized the young lady that got out as Jen, one of our newer customers, who as I recall, had just moved here from sunny Florida.

“Ooooh boy” I thought as she threw open the office door.

“ How do you folks deal with this?!?” she exclaimed. “I own one jacket and it’s in my storage unit! You got any tips?”  

I couldn’t help but notice she was wearing lightweight clothes, canvas shoes and a pair of gardening gloves. “Why don’t you go get your jacket out of your storage unit, and I’ll make you a winter survival list!” She smiled and said she would really appreciate the help.

When she got back from grabbing her coat I gave her my tips…

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Winter is a Good Excuse to Buy a New Sweater!

You certainly need the appropriate clothing for cold weather.
A warm winter coat is top of the list. – You can’t go anywhere in a cold-weather state without one.
Sweaters and sweatshirts and long johns. – Creating layers under that coat is a priority.
A warm hat, scarf, and gloves  – Think Thinsulate or furry Russian hat!
A good pair of insulated weather-proof boots and warm winter socks – Nothing else matters if your feet are freezing and your toes are icicles.

Find a Toasty Cabin in the Woods (or book a flight to Hawaii)

No matter what you’re wearing, nothing beats the cozy comfort of a well heated home or apartment during the winter. So if you’re a homeowner or landlord be sure to have your heating system checked out before it becomes a problem. If you have a wood stove, stock up on seasoned logs. If you’re into oil heat, many oil delivery companies offer a little discount if you’re on a scheduled delivery plan. And no matter what type of system you have, most HVAC companies offer a yearly check up that is relatively inexpensive to catch issues before they become problems.

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When Dashing Through the Snow Make Sure You Don’t Get Stuck

Whether it’s to and from work, shopping, or going out to eat, living in a cold-weather state means traveling in a cold-weather state.  Here are some ways to prepare.

Winterize your vehicle.
Check the tires to be sure the tread is sufficient for snowy travel.
Check your antifreeze to be sure that it’s full and fresh. Flush and change it if need be.
Fill your car with freeze-proof window washer fluid – available at any auto store.
Make sure you have an ice scraper and lock de-icer in your car.
Be sure that your phone is fully charged before leaving on a winter road trip.

Now I’m sure I could have thought of more tips for Jen, but it was about that time that she walked back through the office door with her lovely spring! jacket on. Shivering, she thanked me for my list and went on her way.

All this talk about cold weather has put me in the mood to go home, turn up the heat to 80, get comfy with shorts and a t-shirt, and have a nice piña colada. I think I’ll watch a travel video about the islands. Aloha!