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Drive safe as heavy snow hits Williams and other areas

A winter storm in Williams from 2018 made driving around town challenging. (Wendy Howell/WGCN)

A winter storm in Williams from 2018 made driving around town challenging. (Wendy Howell/WGCN)

Snow has hit Williams and there is still more to come. The Ponderosa Fire Department has released a list of items to keep in your vehicle to handle common winter driving-related tasks, and supplies you might need in an emergency. The list is as follows:

• a snow shovel, broom and ice scraper,

• abrasive material (such as sand or kitty litter) in case your vehicle gets stuck in the snow,

• jumper cables, flashlight and warning devices (flares and emergency markers),

• blankets for protection from the cold and

• a cell phone and charger, water, food and any necessary medicine.

If ever caught driving in a winter storm, there are lifesaving actions you can perform to stay safe.

• Slow down. Even if the roads just look wet they could still be slick. More than 5,000 fatalities occur on the roadways each year due to weather conditions, according to the National Weather Service.

• Make sure your vehicle is completely clear of ice or snow before starting the trip. Flying snow from cars causes accidents.

• Let someone know where you are going and what route you will take. If something happens, this person will know where to start a search.

• Don’t leave the house without your emergency supplies kit in your car.

• If you are driving and begin to skid, remain calm, ease your foot off the gas and turn your wheels in the direction you want the front of the car to go. If you have an anti-lock braking system (ABS), apply steady pressure to the brake pedal. Never pump the brakes on an ABS equipped vehicle.

• If you are having trouble seeing due to weather conditions, pull over to the side of the road and stop your car until visibility improves. Turn off your lights and use your parking break when stopped so that another car won’t mistakenly follow your tail/brake lights and end up hitting you.

• If your car gets stuck during a storm, stay in the vehicle. If you leave your vehicle, you may become disoriented quickly in wind-driven snow and cold.

• Run the motor about 10 minutes each hour for heat. While running the motor, open the window a little for fresh air to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Clear snow from the exhaust pipe to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.

• Be visible to rescuers. Turn on the dome light at night when running the engine. Tie a bright colored cloth, preferably red, to your antenna or door. After snow stops falling, raise the hood to indicate you need help.

Information provided by Ponderosa Fire Department and The National Weather Service.

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