Weather reports for the next several days are predicting the potential for a variety of weather conditions across the state, including freezing rain, snow and ice. State authorities are advising Hoosiers to keep a close eye on weather and road conditions, and make some basic preparations.
Hoosiers are encouraged to stay aware of current weather conditions by monitoring dependable weather sources like the National Weather Service at http://www.weather.gov.
Winter Driving Safety
Hoosiers should carefully consider if travel is necessary during winter weather conditions. Can travel be delayed? Sometimes travel is better during daylight hours when ice is more likely to melt.
Use a variety of sources to make an informed decision. One of those sources is the Indiana County Travel Advisory Map. It’s updated with information from the county emergency management agencies and describes the conditions for a travel warning, watch, advisory and caution.
The map is available online at http://www.in.gov/dhs/traveladvisory/, or on your mobile device by downloading the Indiana Travel Advisory app for iPhone (https://appsto.re/us/QHVw4.i) in the App Store, and Android (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=gov.in.traveladvisory) in the Google Play Store.
In addition to the Travel Advisory Map, keep an eye on road conditions and closures across the state by downloading the Indiana Department of Transportation’s mobile app at https://www.in.gov/indot/3672.htm, visiting trafficwise.in.gov or by calling 800-261-ROAD.
DO NOT call local law enforcement or 9-1-1 for road information. These lines need to be left open for emergency calls.
When traveling, always move over or pull to the side of the road for first responders.
Citizens that must travel should let someone know the planned route, expected time of arrival and contact information.
Power Outage Plan
Snow and ice are a major cause of power outages every year. Take the time now to develop a plan for a potential power outage. Citizens should look up their electric utility’s outage reporting phone number and add it to their cell phone contact list. Get ready by charging all cell phones, laptops and any other battery-operated accessories to ensure maximum battery life when without power. Most cell phones can be used to receive important updates on weather and power outages.
Know where to go should the power go out. Identify a friend or family member’s house, or a nearby shelter or warming center that can be used. If none of these are available, identify the most insulated and interior room available and gather extra clothing, warm blankets and sleeping bags to help stay warm.
With the potential of wind chills reaching below zero during a power outage, even after a short period of time, homes may become unbearably cold. Details on winter weather safety resources across the state, such as warming centers, can be found by visiting 211.org or by calling 2-1-1.
Another way to prepare for a potential power outage is by preparing an emergency kit, that includes food and water for three days (include three gallons of water per person, per day), a battery operated or hand crank all-hazard radio, a flashlight and extra batteries and any other special items (baby formula, insulin, medications).