There are a number of resources available to keep you, your family and friends prepared and informed as winter weather conditions develop across Colorado. Most importantly, stay tuned to local media and the National Weather Service - Colorado Weather Information for Colorado-specific reports, avalanche information and preparedness information. Too, you will want to ensure you keep up with the latest conditions from the Colorado Department of Transportation on the ColoradoDOT site and also through their Colorado DOT Twitter feed.
In addition to keeping up with the latest NWS Colorado Weather Advisories/Watches and Warnings, you should know what your local "sources" for emergency information, including available sms/text/email alerts, websites, local contact numbers and emails. These local sources will be the best contacts for specific hazard and response actions in your area or the area to which you are traveling. For specific tips on preparedness, there are some great winter preparedness checklists available online from READYColorado.
The best thing you can do, of course, is be prepared to not be a statistic by staying off the roads when conditions are poor. Should travel be necessary, ensure you and your vehicle are prepared for conditions by:
- Battery and ingnition system should be in top condition and battery terminals clean
- Ensure antifreeze levels are sufficient to avoid freezing
- Ensure the heater and defroster work properly
- Check and repair windshield wiper equipment; ensure proper washer fluid level
- Ensure the thermostat works properly
- Check lights and flashing hazard lights for serviceability
- Check for leaks and crimped pipes in the exhaust system; repair or replace as necessary
- Check breaks for wear and fluid levels
- Check oil for level and weight - heavier oils congeal more at low temps
- Consider snow tires, snow tires with studs or chains
- Replace fuel and air filters - keep water out of the system by using additives and maintaining full tank
- Remember to keep a winter weather emergency kit in your vehicle, just in case...
Winter Weather Vehicle Emergency Kit - more from READYColorado
- Extra clothing, such as blankets, coats, hat and gloves
- Flares and jumper cables
- Water and foods, such as trail mix and snacks
Driving safely on ice/snow-covered roads
- DO NOT PASS snow plows or sand trucks in operation!!!
- Allow extra time for any travel
- Decrease speed - stopping on ice and snow requires greater distance
- Brake gently to avoid sliding or skidding
- If your brakes do lock up, ease up on the brakes to regain traction
- Use lower gears in poor conditions to maintain traction
- Be careful when crossing bridges/overpasses as they will ice faster than roadways
Help, I am stuck!!!
- Do not spin your wheels - this is only going to dig you in deeper
- Turn your wheels from side to side a few times to clear snow immediately around the tire(s)
- Use a shovel to clear snow around the wheels and underside of the car
- Use sand, kitty litter, gravel or salt in front of the tires to increase tractio