Austin, Texas | The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is urging Texans to begin preparing for possible winter weather, which can impact the state during the coming days and months.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry has declared today, November 12, Winter Weather Awareness Day in Texas. To view the proclamation, visit: http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/dem/ThreatAwareness/winterWeatherAwarenessDayProc.pdf.
“Winter weather can disrupt and endanger the lives of Texans in all parts of the state, and residents should prepare their cars and homes now for possible storms and freezing temperatures this season,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “The best defense against a potential dangerous situation is early preparation.”
DPS offers the following tips for staying safe during possible winter weather:
- Monitor local weather broadcasts and follow up-to-the-minute weather conditions, at http://www.weather.gov/.
- On icy roads, drive slowly and increase distance required 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.
- Keep your gas tank full.
- Avoid traveling when sleet, freezing rain or snow is predicted.
Winterize your vehicle by checking the battery, windshield wipers (including appropriate freeze resistant-fluid), tire pressure, tire tread, fluid levels, and lubricate door and trunk locks to prevent freezing. In addition, here is a list of emergency supplies drivers can keep in their vehicle:
- Blankets/sleeping bags and extra clothing, mittens and hat.
- Cell phone, radio, flashlight, extra batteries.
- First-aid kit and pocket knife.
- High calorie, non-perishable food, bottled water.
- Sack of sand or cat litter to provide traction for tires.
- Windshield scraper, tool kit, booster cables, tow rope and shovel.
Here are some additional steps to prepare for winter weather:
- Insulate outside faucets and pipes near outer walls.
- Make sure that furnaces, heaters, fireplaces and wood stoves are clean, well-ventilated and in good working condition.
- Make arrangements for proper shelter and an emergency supply of food and water for your pets and livestock.
- Stock up on firewood and supplies, including canned goods and bottled water.
- If you will be away from home for a long period of time, set your thermostat to 55 degrees or higher and open cabinets under sinks.
- Check on friends and family members whose health or age may put them at greater risk from cold weather.
Also visit http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/dem/ThreatAwareness/winterstorm.htm for additional information regarding winter weather preparedness.