DPS Advises Texans to Prepare for Winter Weather


AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is encouraging Texans to prepare for a strong cold front impacting parts of Texas through Friday. Forecasts indicate the possibility of sleet and freezing rain, with light ice accumulations possible in portions of Texas.

“DPS is asking Texans to prepare for winter weather as a cold front moves into areas of the state before the New Year’s holiday. Drivers may encounter freezing rain and sleet in some areas, which could create dangerous road conditions,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “Texans should continue to monitor the changing weather conditions in their area and use extra caution on roadways.”

In preparation for possible winter weather, the Texas State Operations Center – in coordination with several state agencies, including the Texas Department of Transportation, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and Texas Military Forces – will continue to monitor weather conditions and maintain close contact with National Weather Service local forecast offices across the state.

DPS offers the following tips for staying safe during this weather event:
Avoid unnecessary travel if possible, monitor local weather broadcasts, and follow up-to-the-minute weather conditions at http://www.weather.gov/.
Remember that ice forms first on bridges, overpasses and shady areas.
On icy roads, drive slowly, increase distance needed for stopping, and avoid using cruise control.
Watch for downed trees and power lines across roads. If power is out, treat all intersections as four-way stops.
Make sure your vehicle is properly maintained before any trip – check fluid and antifreeze levels.
Don’t drink and drive and buckle up everyone in the vehicle.

For more information on road conditions statewide, check www.drivetexas.org or call 800-452-9292.

In addition, here is a list of emergency supplies drivers can keep in their vehicle:
Blankets/sleeping bags, extra clothing, mittens, hat
Cell phone, radio, flashlight, extra batteries
First-aid kit and pocket knife
High-calorie nonperishable food, bottled water
Sack of sand or cat litter to provide traction for tires
Windshield scraper, tool kit, booster cables, tow rope and shovel

For additional information regarding winter weather preparedness, visit: http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/dem/threatawareness/winterStormPlanning.htm

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