NSP Encourages Winter Weather Preparedness

(Lincoln, Neb.)- November 6, is Winter Weather Awareness Day and the Nebraska State Patrol is encouraging motorists to prepare themselves and their vehicle for winter time travel.

“Awareness and preparation are keys when planning your travel during the winter months,” said Colonel David Sankey, Superintendent of the Nebraska State Patrol. “We encourage all motorists to have a winter weather survival kit and to know before you go, when winter conditions are forecast.”

The Nebraska State Patrol issues the following reminders for motorists traveling in extreme winter weather conditions:

·       Use well-traveled routes and give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination.

·       Let others know when you are leaving, when you will arrive, and what route you are taking.

·       If you do become stranded while traveling, stay with your vehicle until help arrives. Wind chill and freezing temperatures can be life threatening

·       If your vehicle does become stuck, run your motor sparingly, make sure your tailpipe is clear of snow or debris and keep a window cracked to prevent the buildup of carbon monoxide.

·       Carry a red flag or bandana in your car to attach to the outside to signal you are in trouble.

Be sure to include a winter weather survival kit in your vehicle. The following are some basic items to keep in your vehicle should you become stranded in wintry weather.

Emergency first aid kit

Ice scraper, shovel, small bag of sand

Mobile phone, charger, batteries

High energy or dehydrated foods

Blankets or sleeping bag, extra set of clothing and winter accessories

Flashlight  include extra batteries (cold weather reduces battery strength

Jumper cables, tow rope, tool kit

Both a large and small can

Matches and candles

Red flag or bandana

Motorists are encouraged to check the latest road closures and conditions by utilizing 511 Nebraska’s Traveler Information System. The system can be accessed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year by dialing 511, or through Internet access <http://www.511.nebraska.gov/>.  A Nebraska 511 mobile app is also available to download at no cost for smartphone users. Simply search your App provider for Nebraska 511.

Motorists in need of non-emergency roadside assistance can call the Nebraska State Patrol Highway Helpline when safe to do so by dialing *55 from any cell phone or 1-800-525-5555.

Col. Sankey said, “When driving in changing weather conditions, never travel faster than circumstances allow and always buckle up.”