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Travel plans during inclement winter weather? Don't venture out on the roadways until you know what to do before, during and after a winter storm.
BEFORE THE STORM
1. Get a tune-up for your vehicle. Check the tire tread and pressure, check fluids (including topping off the windshield washer fluid), check windshield wiper condition and fill your gas tank.
2. Stock your vehicle with an emergency kit. This should include bottled water, non-perishable food like protein bars, flashlight/batteries, blanket, snow shovel, ice scraper/snow brush, kitty litter, reflective warning triangles or cones, tools/rope, extra windshield washer fluid, jumper cables, portable cell phone charger, warm gloves/hat/coat, sturdy boots, hand warmers, first aid kit, duct tape, hand-crank radio, cash and paper maps.
3. Stay up-to-date on the weather forecast. Get your latest forecast from your local national weather service office or your local tv station meteorologists.
DURING THE STORM
1. Do not travel unless absolutely necessary.
2. If you must travel, alert a family member or friend of your planned route of travel.
3. If you become stranded in your vehicle, do not leave your vehicle unless you are in immediate danger. Call authorities for help. Place reflective triangles/cones or flares in front of and behind your vehicle to alert other drivers. Run your vehicle for roughly 10 minutes each hour to stay warm. To avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, ensure that your vehicle's exhaust pipe is not blocked by snow, mud or any other object.
4. Do not brake suddenly. This will cause your vehicle to skid. Be sure to also accelerate slowly. Do not stop when going up a hill (this could cause your vehicle to slide backward).
5. Slow down and increase your following distance to 8 to 10 seconds and do not use cruise control.
6. Beware of black ice, especially on bridges and overpasses.
7. Keep your distance from snow plows. Let them do their jobs and don't pass them unless absolutely necessary.
AFTER THE STORM
1. Avoid driving immediately following a storm. Give local DOT crews time to treat and plow roadways.
2. Clear all snow and ice off your vehicle prior to driving. Any ice or snow not removed can become flying projectiles and become a danger to those around you.
3. Allow yourself extra time to reach your destination and drive slowly.
4. Take your vehicle to the car wash or wash your own vehicle. Remove salt residue to prevent premature rust.
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