|WCSI Local News|
With the first winter storm of the season expected to hit the area later tonight and continue into Friday, Columbus Public Safety spokesman Lt. Matt Myers says you need to be prepared because we are not going to dodge the snow and ice coming our way.
Myers reminds you that if you have to travel, to take it slow, take you time and keep enough distance between you and the next driver in order to prevent an accident. He adds that bridges and overpasses freeze first, so be careful.
"Obivously the city street department will be out plowing the snow off of the streets and things of that nature," Myers said. "And more than likely they will be doing main roads first. So give them the opportunity to get out and clear the roads."
It's also a good idea to check on the elderly to make sure they are doing okay during the winter storm. And if you have any outdoor pets, bring them in from the cold if you can. If not, then make sure they are taken care of outside during the storm.
Myers says it's also a good idea to make sure your vehicle has plenty of gas and a emergency kit just in case you get stranded. The Indiana Department of Homeland Security suggests that you have the following items with you if and when you get stranded.
· At least two blankets or a sleeping bag;
· Flashlight and extra batteries;
· Booster (jumper) cables;
· Emergency flares;
· Extra clothing, including boots, hats and gloves;
· Bottled water and non-perishable foods like granola bars, raisins, nuts, peanut butter or cheese crackers;
· First-aid kit and necessary medications;
· Sand or non-clumping kitty litter for tire traction;
· Cell phone and charger for vehicle use; and
· Ice scraper and snow brush.
When traveling, always move over or pull to the side of the road for first responders.
If you become stranded, you should do the following:
· Unless there is a safe structure nearby, do not leave the car, since it is the best protection;
· Run the engine for 10 minutes every hour to stay warm. An idling car only uses about one gallon of gas per hour;
· Tie a brightly colored cloth to the car for rescuers to see;
· Light a flare or turn on a flashlight to let others know you are stranded;
· Make sure the exhaust pipe is free of any blockage to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning; and
· Keep hydrated by drinking water from your preparedness kit. Don't eat snow, as it will lower body temperature.
Officials also remind you that you can visit GetPrepared.in.gov for more winter trravel safety tips. You will also find the "Indiana Travel Advisory Map" there that will provide you with updated information from counties. It will describe the conditions for a travel warning, watch, advisory and caution. It also features a link to INDOT's Traffic Wise information. You are also reminded to not call local law enformcement to check on road conditions. For that information, you can call 1-800-261-ROAD.
Last Updated: Thursday, December 05, 2013 10:52:18 AM
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