American Red Cross issues winter safety tips

Published 11:17 pm Monday, February 10, 2014


The best thing to do during a winter storm is stay off the roads if possible.

If you have to drive, the Red Cross offers these tips about how to drive safely during a winter storm or what to do if you become stuck in your vehicle:

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Make sure your vehicle is ready for winter with a window scraper, kitty litter or sand in case you get stuck, extra clothes and a disaster supplies kit. Pack high-protein snacks, water, first aid kit, flashlight, small battery-operated radio, an emergency contact card with names and phone numbers, extra prescription medications, blankets and important documents.

Fill the vehicle’s gas tank and clean the lights and windows to help you see.

Before you leave, let someone know where you are going, the route you plan to take and when you expect to get there.

If you have to drive, make sure everyone has their seat belts on and give your full attention to the road. Avoid distractions such as cell phones.

Don’t follow other vehicles too closely. Sudden stops are difficult on snowy roadways.

Don’t use cruise control when driving in winter weather.

Don’t pass snow plows.

Know that ramps, bridges and overpasses will freeze before roadways.

To help avoid running out of gas, don’t run your engine and heater constantly.

Don’t use things like lights or the radio without the engine running so the battery doesn’t conk out.

If you can, move your vehicle off the roadway. Stay with it – don’t abandon it. If you have to get out of your vehicle, use the side away from traffic.