With a significant winter weather system expected to make its way through the area, citizens are encouraged to prepare and for hazardous roads and possible school and business closings.
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning which is in effect from Friday at 1 a.m. until Saturday at 1 a.m.
Rain will transition to a wintry mix of sleet and freezing rain through midnight or a little after. Precipitation will change over to snow by daybreak. Snow may be heavy at time throughout Friday.
Hazardous travel conditions may force schools and organizations to close Friday.
Local highway departments will be out in full force to combat the potential snow and ice covered roads.
A travel “advisory” is notification that travel may be restricted in some areas. Under a “watch” level, only essential travel is recommended. A travel advisory at a “warning” level means travel may be restricted to emergency personnel only.
Winter Driving Safety
Those considering going out onto the roads are advised to check the weather forecast and travel conditions prior to leaving, and allow for extra travel time. If driving during the storm is necessary, make sure you have a fully charged and functioning cell phone. A vehicle preparedness kit is also strongly encouraged. Items in a vehicle preparedness kit include:
- 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
- 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.