NSP Urges Preparedness Ahead of Winter Storm

(Lincoln, Neb.)- The Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) is urging motorists to be prepared and keep up-to-date on the latest weather and road conditions as a powerful winter storm expected to impact travel is forecast for the Cornhusker State.

“This storm as forecasted would make travel extremely dangerous across a good portion of the state,” said Colonel Bradley Rice, Superintendent of the Nebraska State Patrol. “We encourage all motorists to stay up-to-date by monitoring the weather and road conditions closely and be prepared to change travel plans if need be.”

Travelers can check on road closures and conditions by utilizing 511, Nebraska’s Advanced Traveler Information System. The system can be accessed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year by dialing 511, or online at < 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.

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

·       Blowing and drifting snow can reduce visibility. Travel only when absolutely necessary. Always wear your seat belt and never drive faster than conditions allow.

·       If you must travel, use well-traveled routes and give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination.

·       Let others know when you are going, 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 and keep a window cracked to prevent the buildup of carbon monoxide.

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

Be sure to include a winter weather survival kit in your vehicle as your travel. The following are some basic items to keep in your car in case 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, bottled water

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

Flashlight- included extra batteries (cold weather reduces battery strength)

Jumper cables, tow rope, tool kit

Both large and small can

Matches and candles

Red flag or bandana.

Motorists in need of 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 from any landline, report emergencies to 911.

Col. Rice said, “Let’s all do our part to stay safe by being prepared and planning ahead.”