(KYTX) – As a reminder, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is urging Texans to take precautions to keep themselves and their families safe as winter weather continues to impact portions of the state throughout today and into the weekend.
"As winter weather patterns continue to bring cold temperatures, freezing rain, sleet and snow to Texas, it is crucial that residents monitor the changing weather conditions in their area and take the necessary steps to stay safe," said DPS Director Steven McCraw. "DPS urges drivers to use extra caution on roadways affected by freezing rain, sleet or snow, all of which can create extremely dangerous driving conditions."
Forecasts indicate the possibility of freezing rain, sleet and snow accumulation across areas of Texas, including the Texas Panhandle, West Texas, North Texas and Central Texas.
The State Operations Center will activate to Level III (increased readiness conditions) tonight to monitor and coordinate this weather event.
DPS offers the following tips for staying safe during winter weather:
- Avoid unnecessary travel if possible, monitor local weather broadcasts, and follow up-to-the-minute weather conditions at http://www.weather.gov/.
- Remember that ice forms first on bridges, overpasses and shady areas.
- On icy roads, drive slowly, increase distance needed for stopping, and avoid using cruise control.
- Make sure your vehicle is properly maintained before any trip – check fluid and antifreeze levels.
- Buckle up everyone in the vehicle – it's the law.
- Be sure to check with local school districts for any possible weather-related closures.
For more information on road conditions statewide, check www.drivetexas.org or call 800-452-9292.
In addition, here is a list of emergency supplies drivers can keep in their vehicle:
- Blankets/sleeping bags and extra clothing, mittens and hat
- Cell phone, radio, flashlight, extra batteries
- First-aid kit and pocket knife
- High-calorie, nonperishable food, bottled water
- Sack of sand or cat litter to provide traction for tires
- Windshield scraper, tool kit, booster cables, tow rope and shovel
For additional information regarding winter weather preparedness, visit: http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/dem/threatawareness/winterStormPlanning.htm