Emergency Car Kit Tips For Arkansas Winter Drivers

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Make sure you download one of the Red Cross Apps-Tornado, Earthquake or First Aid-Remember you can hear updates from the National Weather Service for Arkansas and the other 49 states.

With brutal winter weather forecast in Arkansas as well as surrounding states, the American Red Cross wants Arkansans to review needs to take preparations for the possibility of precipitation that may interfere with travel, as well as record low temperatures that could do harm to personal well-being.

Three tips to start with include:

1. Stay Informed to your local weather forecasts,” stated American Red Cross in Arkansas Communications Officer Brigette Williams. “Winter weather is unpredictable as small variances can result in several inches of snow when a couple where expected. Likewise, weather such as freezing fog or black ice on elevated bridges can cause serious injury to drivers.”

Download a Red Cross app such as the Tornado, Earthquake or First Aid from your app store. Remember you can hear the latest updates from the National Weather Service for Arkansas as well as the other 49 states to hear watches and warnings.

2. Make A Plan If you must travel, have a couple of alternate routes should roads become impassible.

  • Just as important is to stay aware of changing weather conditions. Access travel needs before you leave your home or workplace, as well as checking roads along your journey. The same applies to checking your airline before leaving for the airport.
  • Fill up your gas tank. Not only does it prevent gas lines from freezing, you’re prepared in the event of traffic standstills or detours.
  • Double check your work and school’s inclement weather policy in advance. Another task is to update your child’s emergency contact list. This is important as many schools, including colleges and universities, notify parents/students of cancelations, delays or lock downs with ‘robo calls’, texts or emails.
  • 3. Have An Emergency Car Kit Pack emergency supplies for the car, even if you’re traveling a short distance from one side of town to the other. Remember inside your Red Cross Tornado, Earthquake or First Aid app’s Tool Box are an emergency siren, flashlight and strobe lights.

    Other Items to include:

  • Blankets, just in case you are stalled without heat
  • Needed medications/supplies, i.e. asthma, diabetic needs or medications taken daily
  • Snacks—nuts, fruit, energy bars
  • Bottled Water
  • Baby food/formula (ready to feed)
  • Diapers
  • Click here for additional items for your emergency kit checklist.

    Additional travel tips include:

  • Avoid driving if possible when conditions include sleet, freezing rain or drizzle, snow or dense fog.
  • Take additional care when crossing bridges and overpasses that may have black ice that is difficult to see until you’re sliding or spinning out of control.
  • In addition to your GPS, keep a map or atlas for Arkansas and for other states you may be driving to.
  • Check the Arkansas Department of Highway & Transportation’s website or social media.
  • Keep a cell phone charger in your car. Make certain you have emergency numbers programmed.
  • Download American Red Cross First Aid. The First Aid app provides numerous safety tips including symptoms and treatment of hypothermia.
  • The American Red Cross Tornado app features live NOAA weather radio for all locations across the United States. The ‘Tool Box’ also features a flashlight, strobe light and emergency siren. You can also find preparedness tips for possible power outages experienced during severe weather.
  • Inform a friend of your time of departure, expected arrival time and route. Periodically give them a call to let them know how you’re progressing on your trip.
  • Check airlines directly for flight changes or delays before departing to the airport. It may be clear in the time you’re in, but major delays may be occurring in your flight’s connecting city.
  • For more tips visit redcross.org/arkansas; like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter@RedCrossArkansas