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Old Man Winter Hits The Plains States Again

Winter
Flash flooding possible from Louisiana to the Carolinas

Blinding snow and flash flooding are predicted to affect a large swath of the United States over the next few days and the American Red Cross offers everyone in the affected areas steps they can take to remain safe during the storms.

Heavy snow and blizzard conditions are expected in the Southern Plains, Mississippi Valley, Colorado and Texas today, moving northeast through Tuesday. Strong winds will cause drifting snow and reduced visibility, making travel dangerous.

Heavy rain and flash floods are possible in the southeast and along the Gulf Coast, affecting people from Louisiana to the Carolinas.

If you do have to venture out in bad weather, you can download the free Red Cross First Aid App before you head out so you’ll have information on what to do during an emergency until help arrives.

WINTER TRAVEL SAFETY If traveling, try to avoid driving during the storm. If you have to drive, plan to arrive at your destination before the storm hits. Watch weather predictions for your entire route so you know what to expect along the way.

Make sure you have an emergency preparedness kit in the car, and keep your car's gas tank full to keep the fuel line from freezing. Your kit should include a flashlight and batteries, a first aid kit, cleaner for your windshield, reflective triangles and bright cloth, an ice scraper and snow brush and non-perishable food.

Let someone know your destination, your route and when you expect to arrive. If your car gets stuck along the way, help can be sent along your predetermined route. If you do get stuck in the snow:

  • Stay with the car. Do not try to walk to safety.
  • Tie a brightly colored cloth (preferably red) to the antenna for rescuers to see.
  • Start the car and use the heater for about 10 minutes every hour. Keep the exhaust pipe clear so fumes won't back up in the car.
  • Leave the overhead light on when the engine is running to help rescuers see the vehicle.
  • Keep one window away from the blowing wind slightly open to let in air.
  • FLASH FLOODS occur suddenly due to rapidly rising water along a stream or low-lying area. Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to see where flooding is occurring. If you come upon a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water

    More information on what steps you can take to stay safe during storms and other emergencies is available on this website.

    About the American Red Cross:
    The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

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