(WINTER – Public Service Announcement)
Travel Tips To Keep You Safe This Winter
The Henderson Emergency Management Agency (HEMA) along with the National Weather Service (NWS) would like to share some travel tips to help keep you and your family safe this winter while traveling in your automobile.
We encourage you to learn and know how to protect yourself and your family in all kinds of winter weather and in different emergency situations.
Know the Winter Weather Terms!
Outlook – is used to indicate a hazardous weather event may develop within the next 3-5 days.
Watch – means hazardous winter weather risks can happen within the next 12-48 hours.
Warning/Advisory – are issued when hazardous winter weather is imminent, a high probability or is occurring.
Warning – is used for events that could directly cause death, injury or significant property damage.
Advisory – used for lessor events that can cause an inconvenience but not death or injury or significant property damage.
Statement – National Weather Service (NWS) frequently issues updates to watches, warnings, or advisories.
Frostbite – occurs when the skin becomes cold enough to freeze. Warning signs are loss of feeling, a white or pale appearance in the fingers, toes, ear lobes or nose.
Hypothermia – is low body temperature during long periods of cold exposure. Warning signs are disorientation, confusion, uncontrollable shivering, drowsiness and apparent exhaustion. In severe cases, death is possible.
Safety Tips for Winter Travel!
Citizens should winterize their cars. The following items should be checked: ignition, cooling, fuel and exhaust systems, battery, lights, tires, heater, brakes, wipers, defroster and oil. In the winter it is advisable to keep the fuel tank full. Know safe driving routes from home, school or work.
A survival kit in the car should consist of: flashlight, windshield scraper, paper towels, extra clothes, blankets, matches and candles, booster cables, a compass, maps, sand, chains and high calorie non-perishable food.
Drive Defensively! When trying to stop on snow or ice, pump the break.
Travel Smart! Plan your trip, don’t drive alone and let someone know your travel plans, route and estimated arrival time.
Drive Carefully! If you get tired or a storm intensity increases, seek shelter off the road. Use road maps, seat covers and newspapers to help provide additional insulation if you are trapped inside your car in a winter snow storm.
Do Not Leave Your Car! unless you see a building close by where you know you can take shelter. Once a storm is over, you may need to leave the car to get help. Follow the road if possible. If you need to walk across open country, orient your route toward distant landmarks to maintain your sense of direction.
For some, these tips may already have been “lessons learned”. For others, these tips may just be “common sense”, however, it never hurts to be reminded of safety procedures that you can do to protect yourself and your family, especially at this time of year.
More safety and preparedness information from your local Henderson EMA, “We Care About Your Safety”.