If it snows, be among the ready ...
The Capital Weather Gang is saying there is a possibility of snow this weekend. They say the most likely time appears to be Saturday. When the forecast turns wintry, we like to remind you of some of Dr. Gridlock's safety tips for navigating in the white stuff. If you start preparing now, you'll be ready if the flakes begin to fly.
Don't crowd the plow. Snow plow operators may need to stop or move quickly to avoid obstacles. Plows moving in high winds can create a snow cloud, severely limiting visibility, and the operator may not be able to see you due to blind spots.
Before driving. Get the snow or ice off the vehicle, including the roof. You don't want chunks of the stuff endangering your fellow travelers as it crashes to the ground around your vehicle. Check your battery, wiper blades, tires, tire jack, antifreeze and lights. Keep the gas tank at least half-full.
Carry an emergency kit that includes a small shovel; a bag of rock salt, sand or cat litter; a scraper and brush; a flashlight with extra batteries; jumper cables; blankets; and a first-aid kit.
When driving. Don't use cruise control, allow extra room for stopping distance, turn your lights on, know the condition of your brakes and be aware that road conditions can change quickly. Stick with the main roads as long as you can rather than detouring onto secondary routes. It's the main roads that will get the most attention from plows and emergency vehicles.
In Metro. While waiting on outdoor Metrorail platforms, remember this is our first winter in which the trains are required to pull to the front of the platform, exposing more of the train -- and more of you -- to the elements. Platform paving tiles can be slippery, so exercise care.
December 16, 2009; 11:31 AM ET
Categories: Advisories , Weather | Tags: winter weather
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