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January 11, 2011

01/12/11  With accumulating amounts of snow predicted to fall Tuesday and Wednesday, Indiana Department of Homeland Security and Indiana State Police officials are encouraging Hoosiers to prepare by having a few supplies available and consulting the State Travel Advisory Map before venturing onto roadways. “As with any severe weather event, it’s always a good idea to gather a few essential supplies in case utilities are disrupted,” says IDHS Executive Director Joe Wainscott. “Know where your flashlight and extra batteries are in case of a power outage, and have a 3 day supply of food and water available in case you are unable to leave home for a few days.” IDHS recommends assembling and maintaining a disaster kit. Ten items to include in your family’s disaster kit are: 1. Food and water for three days, including three gallons of water per person, per day 2. Battery operated all hazards radio 3. Flashlight 4. Extra batteries for radio and flashlight 5. First aid kit 6. Extra clothing, sturdy shoes, rain gear, blankets, and personal hygiene items 7. List of emergency phone numbers 8. Important documents (copies of photo ID, social security card, insurance and banking information) 9. Cash (Small bills. Power outages can limit ability to use ATMs and credit cards) 10.Special items (baby formula, insulin, life sustaining medication) IDHS is also reminding Hoosiers to check the State Travel Advisory Map before hitting the roads tonight or heading out tomorrow morning. “It’s important that motorists are informed about road conditions and aware of any travel restrictions in their area before leaving home,” says Wainscott. “The statewide travel advisory map is a great resource for staying informed with up-to-date information.” The map is continually updated with travel advisory information as reported by each county. The map is available at Indiana State Police advise motorists to drive only if absolutely necessary in severe weather and to take the following precautions: • Allow extra time to get to your destination and extra space between you and other vehicles. • Clear all windows of ice and snow and remove snow from hood, roof and head lights and tail lights. • Beware of bridges, underpasses, shaded areas and intersections where ice is slow to melt. • Slow down to increase traction; don’t use cruise control on slick roads. • Avoid abrupt stops and starts, slow down gradually and keep wheels turning to avoid losing traction. • Use low beam headlights to decrease glare from ice. IDHS also recommends carrying a small disaster kit with blankets, extra water, a small shovel and other items which may be helpful if you find yourself in trouble on the road. Should you become stranded: • Do not leave your car, it is the best protection you have. • Keep the overhead light on when the engine is running so you can be seen (remember to keep the windows cracked). • Tie a brightly colored cloth to the antenna for rescuers to see. • Run the engine for 10 minutes every hour to stay warm. Remember, an idling car uses only one gallon of gas per hour. • Keep the exhaust pipe free of blockage to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. For more information on preparing for winter storms and winter travel safety, visit