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Front Page » October 31, 2002 » Local News » Fema Cautions Drivers to Prepare for Winter
Published 4,721 days ago

Fema Cautions Drivers to Prepare for Winter

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Transportation accidents constitute the leading cause of death during winter storms.

Before venturing out on winter roadways, Castle Valley motorists should contact local law enforcement agencies or the Utah Highway Patrol to obtain current road conditions, recommends the Federal Emergency Management Administration.

A winter storm watch indicates that severe weather may affect the Carbon County area, points out FEMA. A winter warning indicates severe conditions are definitely on the way.

A blizzard warning means that significant amounts of falling or blowing snow and sustained winds of at least 35 miles per hour are expected for several hours

Whether traveling to local destinations or taking trips, Carbon motorists should drive during the daylight hours, continues FEMA.

Whenever possible, residents who have to drive during extreme winter weather conditions should arrange to be accompanied by at least one passenger.

Preparing motor vehicles for cold weather and knowing how to react if stranded or lost on the road are the keys to safe winter driving, indicates the emergency management administration.

Local residents can prepare vehicles for winter conditions checking the batteries, antifreeze levels, wipers and windshield washer fluid, ignition systems, thermostats, all lights, exhaust systems, heaters, brakes, defrosters, oil levels and grades.

In addition, motorists should make sure the vehicles' tires have adequate tread.

All-weather radials are usually adequate for winter conditions, explains FEMA.

But Carbon County residents who travel outside the boundaries of Castle Valley should be aware that some jurisdictions mandate equipping cars and/or pickup trucks with chains or snow tires with studs.

In addition, the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Administration recommends that Carbon County residents:

•Carry a windshield scraper and small broom for ice and snow removal inside the vehicle.

•Maintain at least a half tank of gas during the winter season and plan trips carefully.

•Dress warmly. Wear layers of loose-fitting, layered, lightweight clothing.

•Take along food, high energy snacks and several containers of water.

•Carry winter driving kits containing booster cables, flashlights with extra batteries, a small shovel, tools, first aid supplies, pocket knives, necessary medications, matches, blankets or sleeping bags, newspapers for insulation and plastic bags for sanitation as well as mittens, socks wool caps and extra clothing.

•Equip vehicles with a small sack of sand, kitty litter or similar products to generate traction under the wheels in case of an emergency.

In the event travelers become trapped by a winter storm, FEMA emphasizes the importance of the drivers and passengers remaining inside the vehicle.

Motorists stranded due to winter road conditions should hang a brightly colored cloth on the radio antenna and raise the hood to signal an emergency situation.

Carbon County residents should never leave a stranded car or pickup truck to obtain assistance unless help is visible within 100 yards, stresses the emergency management administration.

People frequently become disoriented or lost in blowing and drifting snow, cautions the Federal Emergency Management Administration.

Stranded motorists should occasionally run the vehicle's engine to keep warm - approximately 10 minutes per hour, advises FEMA.

The dome light inside the motor vehicle should be turned on while the engine and heater are running.

Drivers and passengers should alleviate the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning clearing snow from exhaust pipes and

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