Drive Smart

Encouraging Motorists to Prepare for Winter

The DRIVE SMART Las Animas County Clicks Coalition would like to remind our county residents to be prepared for our tricky winter driving.

“This time of year, winter weather can strike at any time, which means we all need to get our emergency kits and vehicles ready for winter travel,” said CDOT Executive Director Don Hunt. “Early preparation will help ensure the safety of those traveling Colorado highways during inclement weather.”

The first step in preparing for winter is ensuring that you have an emergency kit in your vehicle in case you are stranded.

If you find yourself stranded, stay in your vehicle, turn on your flashers, call for help and wait until it arrives.

Your emergency kit should include the following:

• Flares/reflectors to signal for help and warn other motorists

• Sturdy scraper/snow brush/snow shovel to clear snow

• Battery or crank-powered radio to listen to emergency broadcasts

• Flashlight with extra batteries or crank-powered flashlightdriving

• Survival blanket or sleeping bag

• Chemical hand warmers

• Extra set of clothes, including coat, hat, mittens, boots, etc.

• Water for each person and pet in your car

• Food items containing protein such as nuts and energy bars

• Canned fruit and a portable can opener

• First aid kit and essential medications

• Tire chains and tow strap

• Non-clumping kitty litter/sand for traction

• Jumper cables

• Extra cloth or paper towels for cleanup if necessary

• The all-important deck of cards or board game for entertainment.

In addition to the emergency kit, be sure to check your vehicle now and before any road trip to make sure it is in safe operating condition. Check the windshield wiper fluid, heater/defroster, wiper blades, antifreeze, lights, fuel system and a full tank of gas, ignition, exhaust system, tire tread, battery and brakes.

It is also important for motorists to keep speeds down during inclement weather and give snow plows room to do their job. They are also encouraged to plan ahead when traveling by calling 511 or visiting www.cotrip.orgreal-time road information. Weather awareness information and updates are also posted by the Office of Emergency Management atwww.COEmergency.com and on Twitter at COEmergency using the #COwx hashtag

Author: 360SoCO

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