Winter Is Here, but Have No Fear! Home and Auto Tips for the Wintertime.

Colder temperatures and snowfall are among us. Have you taken steps to ensure your comfort and safety this winter season? With just a few suggested adjustments, including home and auto insurance coverage through Liberty Mutual and MetLife, you’ll be prepared to handle any weather that comes your way.

Winter Driving Tips:

Have you ever been in a slippery situation? Wintertime driving can leave us feeling like we’re on thin ice—literally! Poor driving conditions account for almost half a million car accidents during the winter months (Federal Highway Administration, 2018). Adjusting your driving in the event of inclement weather can not only save you money, but more importantly your life. Here are five winter driving tips to help keep your money and yourself safe this snowy season:

  1. Make sure your vehicle is insured. MSU offers eligible employees auto insurance plans through Liberty Mutual and MetLife. Enjoy the convenience of having your auto insurance payroll deducted.
  2. Accelerate and decelerate slowly. This can help to prevent your vehicle from losing traction and you losing control of your vehicle in potentially slippery conditions.
  3. Maintain a following distance. During winter months, increase your following distance about eight to 10 seconds, as driving further back allows for additional stopping time. 
  4. Invest in winter tires. Different from your standard tires, winter tires are designed for increased traction on ice and snow. The average cost is about $120; however, that is a small fraction of what you would spend in the event of an accident.
  5. Leave early and drive slowly. One of the key factors of driving safe during the winter season is simply just to slow your driving down entirely. Plan to leave your home much earlier for work and other events to ensure ample time for a safe drive.

Winter Cost Saving Energy Tips for the Home:

It’s no secret that a much colder season is upon us and it can have chilling effects on our wallets. With winter in full swing, we tend to adapt our everyday lives to ensure optimum comfortability. However, a change in the weather does not have to mean a change in the cost of maintaining your home. Here are five winter cost saving energy tips for the home:

  1. Take advantage of homeowner’s insurance. MSU offers eligible employees home insurance plans through Liberty Mutual and MetLife. Enjoy the convenience of having your home insurance payroll deducted.
  2. Utilize the sun. There isn’t nearly as much daylight during the winter season; however, warmth from sunlight can drastically change the temperature of your home. Open the curtains on the south-facing windows of your home to let in some natural light and warmth.
  3. Find and seal any drafts. Common areas such as the cracks around doors and windows let cool air in, making it harder to keep your home warm. Sealing drafts in could lower annual energy costs up to 30% (U.S. Dept. of Energy, 2019).
  4. Use ceiling fans to circulate air. Place your ceiling fan on its lowest setting to circulate the warm air that rises, leaving your home feeling much warmer.
  5. Make sure all vents are open and uncovered. Do a quick check of every room to ensure there aren’t any items blocking your vents. This allows for maximum heat flow, preventing increased costs to heat your home.

For more information on home and auto insurance through Liberty Mutual or MetLife, visit MSU Benefits Plus. You can get a free quote by contacting Liberty Mutual at 888-860-0316 or MetLife at 877-619-5604.

Beat Cabin Fever

With temperatures crawling below zero, it can be easy to feel stir crazy during winter’s most brutal months. Luckily, there are many activities that you can do in order to defeat the dreaded symptoms of cabin fever.

Although the weather is chilling, campus venues, such as Abrams planetarium, provide an escape.
Although the weather is chilling, campus venues, such as Abrams planetarium, provide an escape.

Get lost in space at the Abrams Planetarium. 

The Abrams Planetarium plays shows featuring the Digistar 5 Project. The planetarium is open to the public on Friday and Saturday evenings as well as Sunday afternoons. All tickets are $4 or less, however, electronic payment is not accepted. Stop by to marvel at One World, One Sky: Big Bird’s Adventure or Ice Worlds.

Enjoy live entertainment at the Wharton Center.

The Wharton Center is a beautiful venue that hosts a wealth of interesting acts. Performances are eclectic and include plays, dance and concerts. Watch the Phantom of the Opera, The Aspen Santa Fe Ballet or 2 Cellos, among other talent.

Learn how to cook, relax and more with MSU Health4U classes.

What better way to spend a chilling day than to improve your skills? Health4U can teach you how to make breakfast for dinner or show you the calming nature of acoustic flamenco music.

Enhance your professional skills using elevateU.

Available in EBS for all faculty and staff, the elevateU platform offers a sweeping array of classes for your benefit.

Drink in some culture at the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum.

The Broad is a wonderful museum specializing in modern and contemporary art. Take advantage of the free admission and view stunning exhibitions including modern art from China and an artful display about student loan debt.

Take the edge off at the State Room.

The Kellogg Center’s State Room often has events, such as wine tastings, that are sure to entice you to leave the house. Keep up-to-date with the latest events.

Environmental Tips for the Winter Season

With the help from Be Spartan Green, we’ve put together a video of environmental tips for this cold winter season. Here are some of the following ways you can save money and energy this season and help protect our environment, especially when you’ll be leaving the office for holiday breaks.

Top Tips:

-Turn off all unneeded electronic equipment. Unplug all electronics or turn off the surge protector so they don’t use stand-by energy.

-Use plug control equipment such as the Smart Strip available at University Stores.

-Take the time to clean out and defrost refrigerators and freezers to make them more energy efficient.

-Dial down thermostats, especially at night and when you aren’t there. Dress in layers to feel warmer wherever you go.

-Laboratories should keep fume hood sashes closed for energy saving and safety reasons.

To share these tips to your friends and family, you can email or print this flyer.

Other useful links:

Office of Campus Sustainability

Green Certification Information