Along with snowmen, skating, and sledding, the winter months also bring the possibility of freezing rain, strong wind, ice, and blizzard conditions. When such weather is imminent, the National Weather Service may issue winter storm watches or warnings in your area. For your safety, it is important to recognize these alerts and know how to respond to them.
- A winter storm watch means a storm may possibly be headed in your area. Stay tuned to local radio and TV for further updates. Avoid unnecessary travel and keep informed of changing weather conditions.
- A winter storm warning means a storm is headed to your area. A blizzard warning means blinding wind-driven snow, strong winds and dangerous wind chills are expected. Should either of these warnings be issued, seek shelter right away. If you must go out, let someone know your route, your destination, and your expected time of arrival. If you get stranded, help can be sent along your predetermined route.
Travel during the winter months can be complicated by storms that arrive with little or no warning. Therefore, the Red Cross advises that drivers prepare for such a possibility by maintaining a well-stocked winter emergency supply kit. The kit should contain the following items:
- Cell phone, power adapter, extra charged battery
- Battery jumper cables
- First aid kit
- Basic tool kit with screwdriver, pliers, pocket knife, and adjustable wrench
- Sleeping bags or blankets
- Windshield scraper
- Bag of sand, a set of tire chains, or traction mats
- A candle in a fireproof container
- Brightly colored cloth to tie to antenna
- Flashlight and transistor radio with back-up batteries for each
- Non-perishable food supply, such as canned nuts and energy bars
- Extra winter clothing
- Bottled water
- Rain gear and an extra set of dry clothing.
During this unpredictable time of year, it is also recommended that you keep your car’s gas tank full in case of emergency and to keep the fuel line from freezing. This winter, don’t be left out in the cold—drive cautiously, be alert, and be sure you have towing or Emergency Road Service coverage as a part of your auto insurance policy.
The opinions voiced in this material are for educational and general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
This article was prepared by Liberty Publishing, Inc.
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