Cochranites have been treated to a mild start to the winter season, with temperatures more in line with the fall.

The above seasonal temperatures we've gotten accustomed to are about to take a turn, and Old Man Winter is about to settle in here in Cochrane.

Jackie Richards from Big Hill Towing says that as we gear up for the colder and snowier days ahead, it's important for motorists to be prepared for winter-related emergencies.

Richards says that it's far too often that their tow truck drivers respond to new drivers that are ill-prepared for the winter conditions.

"Folks that are driving for the first time or have just been driving for a few years, it's hard to really think about the serious consequences if you are caught in a situation." 

Richards says that that winter isn't the time to test your gas mileage or cell phone battery. She says it's important to have enough fuel to keep the car running if an emergency situation arises, and she recommends having a fully charged cell phone.

"A charged cell phone and even those extra battery packs for cellphones are extremely helpful," says Richards. "If your vehicle dies for any reason and you can't charge your cellphone and you can't communicate. If you don't have that you could be in real trouble."

Richards says that having a winter emergency kit with some essentials in our vehicles will certainly make all the difference if problems should arise on the road.

"A blanket, candle, extra clothes, warm clothes, boots, food and water -  those are all great ideas to carry around in the vehicle for safety reasons.

Temperatures in Cochrane are expected to stay below the freezing mark for the foreseeable future, with daily highs between minus 10 and minus 13 and overnight lows dropping as low as minus 22.