BLUEFIELD, WV (WVNS) — From inside your home looking out, on post cards, and even on social media, winter weather can be beautiful to look at. However, if you find yourself out in it, winter weather can be dangerous and even life threatening.
Something folks in Virginia found out the hard way after getting stranded for nearly 24 hours. Some without food, water, or a way to communicate on I-95. Captain Shannon Akers of the Bluefield Fire Department said the easiest way to avoid becoming trapped in your car, is to simply not be out if you don’t need to be.
If this isn’t an option for you and driving in inclement weather is a must, have an emergency kit in your car to prevent being stranded from turning into a life threatening situation.
Emergency Car Kit: www.ready.gov/car
“Folks should have blankets, extra food that’s not perishable, especially water and things like that. Maybe even stuff to start a fire so that if that had to start a fire they could. And make sure they have extra cell phone chargers and make sure their batteries are charged on all their electronic devices to call emergency services,” Akers said.
Once the storm has passed and roads become clear, your winter weather dangers are not over. Snow and ice covered streetlights, trees, powerlines, all create falling ice hazards drivers and pedestrians should be aware of these dangers.
“Be mindful of that of the snow above their heads that going to slid off of roofs. They also need to clean the roofs of their vehicles also so it doesn’t slide down and obscure their vision or hit another vehicle. They just need to be mindful of what’s overhead and keep their head on a swivel and be mindful of their surroundings,” Akers said.
So, as we watch for another significant snowfall to move into the region this week the chances of becoming stranded in or injured due to snow and ice climbs. Capt. Akers says if you find yourself in need of emergency services to call early.
“Call earlier rather than later. When they realize that there is a problem it could be too late so if they see a problem arising to call then,” Akers suggested.
In addition to staying home or having an emergency kit, communication is key to winter weather safety. Sharing your location, checking in, and simply letting friends and family know what route you are traveling can go a long way this winter season.
For more resources on how to keep safe this winter season, head over to Ready.gov/Winter-Weather for great tips. They even have information on what to put in your emergency kit for your car and home.