Tips to Stay Safe During Weekend's Arctic Cold FrontPress Release
SAN ANGELO, TX – As the arctic cold front is swiftly approaching the southern states and West Texas, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is urging Texans to monitor weather forecasts and take necessary precautions as winter weather and cold temperatures sweep across the state.
Currently, parts of North Texas, West Texas, and the Texas Panhandle could experience wintry precipitation, including light to moderate snow accumulations, beginning late Thursday through Friday. In a press release sent out by DPS, Drivers are urged to monitor weather conditions before driving, and if possible, avoid any unnecessary travel in the impacted areas.
DPS Director Steven McCraw added, “It is important to remember that winter weather threats can emerge quickly, including low temperatures and freezing precipitation, which can endanger Texans if they’re not prepared.” Furthermore, “DPS is calling on individuals to monitor the weather and take the necessary steps to stay safe and avoid hazardous conditions posed by any possible weather threats this week and throughout this winter season,” said McCraw.
DPS offers the following tips for staying safe during possible winter weather this season:
- Monitor local weather broadcasts and follow up-to-the-minute weather conditions at www.weather.gov.
- Purchase an all-hazards weather radio for up-to-date warning, watches, forecasts and other hazard information.
- Sign up for your local emergency notification system.
- On icy roads, drive slowly, increase distance required for stopping, and avoid using cruise control.
- Watch for downed trees and power lines across roads. If power is out, treat all intersections as four-way stops.
- Make sure your vehicle is properly maintained before any trip.
- Keep your gas tank full.
- Avoid travel when sleet, freezing rain or snow is predicted, and monitor road conditions by visiting www.drivetexas.org or by calling 1-800-452-9292.
DPS also recommends to winterize your vehicle by checking the battery, windshield wipers (including appropriate freeze resistant-fluid), tire pressure and tire tread, fluid levels, and lubricate doors and trunk locks to prevent freezing. For those who have travel plans, here is a list of emergency supplies drivers can keep in their vehicle.
- Blankets/sleeping bags, extra clothing, gloves and a hat.
- Cell phone, radio, flashlight and extra batters.
- First-aid kit and pocket knife.
- High calorie, non perishable food and bottled water.
- Bag of san or cat litter to provide traction for tires.
- Windshield scraper, tool kit, booster cables, tow rope, and a shovel.
Below is a list of additional steps to prepare for winter weather:
- Insulate outside faucets and pipes near outer walls.
- Make sure that furnaces, heaters, fireplaces and wood stoves are clean, well-ventilated and in good working condition.
- Make arrangements for proper shelter and an emergency supply for food and water for your pets and livestock.
- Stock up on firewood and supplies, including canned goods and bottled water.
- If you will be away from home for a long period of time, set your thermostat to 55 degrees or higher and open cabinets under sinks.
- Make sue you have inclement weather contact numbers for school and work.
- Check on friends and family members whose health or age may put them at greater risk from cold weather.
During the winter season, residents can contact 2-1-1 in Texas. 2-1-1 is a free state wide 24-hour helpline to check on possible community-established warning centers or related services in any area in Texas. The number 877-541-7905 is another option for residents to use for community resources.
For San Angelo, no hazardous road conditions are predicted at this time; however, temperatures are expected to start dropping considerably by noon this afternoon.
A spokesperson at San Angelo’s National Weather Service said, “Temperatures will drop to around 21 degrees” by tonight. He added, “Friday is expected to be the coldest of the week, with the high of 34 degrees, a 14-degree drop compared to today.”
Furthermore, Friday’s low for the evening is predicted to be 19 degrees; however, no chance for snow at this time is foreseen. After the cold front passes, temperatures will gradually climb to the 60s by the beginning of next week.
Visit www.dps.texas.gov/dem/threatawareness/winterstorm .htm for additional information and tips regarding winter weather preparedness.