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Indiana State Police
Situational Awareness for Current Winter Storm
- IDHS: County Travel Status Map - See Your Current County Travel Status
- INDOT: Winter Driving - Winter Driving Safety Tips
- TrafficWise - Your Link to Smart Travel - Specific Road Information
- Travel Conditions -Links to Travel Conditions Across Indiana
- IDHS: Winter Weather Precautions - Tips to Keep You & Your Family Safe
- 3/2/14 11:00 p.m. For state-wide news from the Indiana State Police visit the ISP Newsroom at http://www.in.gov/isp/2310.htm
- 3/2/14 10:30 p.m. State Road in Monroe and Brown County to Close Again
For the latest updates on this closure and other Bloomington District news, click here.
- 3/1/14 8:30 p.m. Always Evaluate Driving Conditions, Even if County Travel Status Not in “Warning”
Indiana State Police, the Indiana Department of Transportation, and the Indiana Department of Homeland Security urge residents to fully evaluate road conditions and the need to travel. Information on state highways can be found at INDOT’s TrafficWise Traveler Information Service at http://www.trafficwise.in.gov/. Conditions are constantly changing. Even if roads are not closed travel may still be hazardous. And even if your county is not designated as “red,” the highest warning on the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) travel advisory map, travel conditions still may not be safe for driving. View the IDHS County Travel Status map at (http://www.in.gov/dhs/traveladvisory/).
If travel is necessary, plan ahead by dressing appropriately for the extreme cold, have a fully charged cell phone with a portable charger and only use a car that is in good mechanical condition with a full tank of fuel.
Stranded motorists should call for help immediately. Be prepared to call a tow service and anticipate that you may have to wait hours before help arrives. While waiting for the tow truck, remember that on average a vehicle will burn one gallon of fuel per hour while idling. If low on fuel, run the engine in 15 minute increments to keep warm.
- 1/5/14 8:30 p.m. Protect Yourself During Extreme Cold
Extremely cold temperatures increase the risks of hypothermia and frostbite. Hypothermia, the condition of having an abnormally low body temperature, occurs when a person’s body loses heat faster than it can be produced. Prolonged exposure to the cold ultimately uses up a body’s stored energy. Body temperature that is too low effects the brain, making the victim unable to think clearly or move well.
Warning signs of hypothermia include:
• Shivering, exhaustion
• Confusion, fumbling hands
• Memory loss, slurred speech
Frostbite causes a loss of feeling and color in affected areas. It most often affects the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers or toes. Frostbite can permanently damage the body, and in severe cases, can lead to amputation. The risk of frostbite is increased in people with reduced blood circulation and among people who are not dressed properly for extremely cold temperatures.
Warning signs of frostbite include:
• White or grayish-yellow skin
• Skin that feels unusually firm or waxy
If you detect symptoms of hypothermia or frostbite seek care from a health care professional immediately. For more information about winter weather safety, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at http://www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/winter/guide.asp, and the Indiana State Department of Health’s website at http://www.statehealth.in.gov/.
- 3/1/14 8:30 p.m. Clear Snow from Fire Hydrants
A hydrant blocked by snow can cause a delayed response to extinguishing fires, and can result in dire consequences for homeowners and business owners. When it comes to locating and using a fire hydrant, it saves a lot of time if the hydrant and the area around it is cleared of snow. Some snow removal tips
• Adopt a fire hyrdrant to keep an eye on.
• Make it a regular part of a snow clearing routing.
• Clear a path to fire hydrants from the road.
• Remove snow from all sides so it is visible from the road, and easily accessible for a fire hose.
- 3/1/14 8:15 p.m. Don’t Get Stuck and Snowed In on Closed Roads
Motorists are strongly encouraged to take steps to avoid getting stuck when crashes or snow drifts close Hoosier roads. While the INDOT's plow trucks are effective in plowing accumulating and drifting snow, drivers need to do their part to keep the roads open so the trucks can do their job. INDOT’s trucks cannot plow through parked or stopped vehicles.
Drivers are strongly encouraged to not put themselves, local emergency medical services, or other public safety professionals in harm’s way. Please listen to and follow county travel advisories to stay off the roads.
The Indiana State Police and other law enforcement agencies encourage the public to keep phone lines open for emergencies. Road conditions are available at http://indot.carsprogram.org/ or by dialing toll-free 800-261-ROAD (7623). For up-to-date county travel statuses, Hoosiers are encouraged to visit http://www.in.gov/dhs/traveladvisory/.
- 3/1/14 8:15 p.m. Charge Electronic Devices Early
Cell phones, tablets, and other mobile devices can be very useful during winter storms and emergency situations. Be ready if a situation arises by fully charging your devices beforehand. Plug devices into a surge protector power strip to charge them. Charge devices to the full battery capacity. To conserve energy and battery power, close out of smartphone apps after using them. Consider turning off other capabilities such as Bluetooth, that drain batteries faster. If you must drive, use a car charger to charge devices that you may need, like cell phones and GPS devices.
- 3/1/14 8:15 p.m. Pets and cold weather recommendations:
• Bring pets into a heated location when the temperatures drop. This especially important for smaller animals and older animals not able to cope with the cold. If pets must stay outside, make sure they have proper shelter which is insulated and the entry is covered. Keep fresh bedding available and change it regularly to prevent any freezing moisture. Try to keep the shelter small enough to retain the pet’s body heat yet large enough for them to move comfortably.
• Use only plastic water and food bowls to prevent tongues from freezing to metal bowls. Change water often and make sure it does not freeze.
• Be alert for any signs of frostbite. Ears, paws and tails are most susceptible to frostbite. If symptoms develop, contact your veterinarian. Check animals paws for build-up of snow or ice. Clean the pads of their feet and treat them if cuts develop.
• Always use pet-safe ice melt.
• Be alert for signs of hypothermia such as shivering, lethargy, low heart rate and unresponsiveness.
• Never leave your pet inside a parked car. During the winter it can act as an icebox and trap cold air inside.
- 3/1/14 8:00 p.m. For state-wide news from the Indiana State Police visit the ISP Newsroom at http://www.in.gov/isp/2310.htm
- 3/1/14 8:00 p.m. Winter Storm Terms –
• Winter Storm Advisory: Cold, ice and heavy snow are expected.
• Winter Storm Watch: Heavy snow and ice are very possible over the next couple of days, so finalize preparations and listen to a weather radio or forecasts.
• Winter Storm Warning: Severe winter weather is in the area. Heavy snow and/or ice will begin soon.
• Blizzard: Strong winds over 35 mph along with snow that reduces visibility.
• Sleet: Rain that falls and turns into ice before it hits the ground.
• Freezing Rain: Rain that falls and turns to ice once it hits a surface.
- 3/1/14 7:30 p.m. Use this link to check the travel status for each county in Indiana. This map is regularly updated so check this link before you travel during the approaching winter storm. - http://www.in.gov/dhs/traveladvisory/
- 3/1/14 7:30 p.m. If you travel during winter storms, make sure to give room to INDOT, County Highway, and City/Town snowplows. Give these workers room to operate. The same is true of ambulances, fire trucks, wrecker/recovery vehicles and police vehicles. If you see flashing emergency lights, slow down and move over. Emergency services workers will be out during these times of inclement weather responding to calls for assistance. Give them a safe environment to work in. Ice and snow….take it slow!
- 3/1/14 7:00 p.m. General Winter Storm Preparedness –
• Have necessary items on hand before the storm begins. This includes basic items of food and water.
• Check all sources of power and be sure they are operational. This includes items such as back-up generators and portable generators.
• Don’t use gas stoves as heating sources. Also be aware of any gas leaks that may occur due to the extreme cold or large amounts of snowfall.
• Check on elderly neighbors and family before the storm begins to be sure they are properly cared for.
• Be sure your cell phone is charged in case of power loss.
• Have important phone numbers programmed into phones or at hand in case of any emergency.
• Limit your time outside in the cold weather. Dress in layers and come inside to warm up to prevent over exposure to the cold. Cover all of your skin to help prevent frostbite.
• Practice safety when removing snow and ice from drive-ways and sidewalks. Don’t over exert yourself.
• Don’t travel if it is unnecessary during winter storms. Stay in a warm and safe place.
- 3/1/14 7:00 p.m. Winter Driving Safety Tips