As the National Weather Service has issued blizzard warnings, winter storm warnings and winter storm watches for a majority of Nebraska counties, the Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) is urging motorists to be prepared for the potential of hazardous conditions. The expected storm could make driving difficult in many parts of the state.
“Some forecasts for this storm are indicating the possibility of more than a foot of snow in parts of northern Nebraska,” said Col. John Bolduc, superintendent of the NSP. “Drivers should be prepared and plan ahead for travel this weekend. If you do run into a problem or need assistance, please know that troopers and other law enforcement officers will be on the road to help.”
Travelers can stay up-to-date on travel conditions with information available through Nebraska 511, Nebraska’s Advanced Traveler Information System. The system is available at all times via phone by dialing 511, online at www.511.nebraska.gov or Nebraska 511’s smartphone app.
NSP also issues the following reminders for motorists traveling in extreme weather conditions:
· Always wear your seat belt and never drive faster than conditions allow.
· Blowing and drifting snow can reduce visibility. Travel only when absolutely necessary.
· If you must travel, use well-traveled routes and give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination. Let others know where you are going, your route, and when you will arrive.
· If you do become stranded while traveling, stay in your vehicle until help arrives. Have a red flag or bandana to signal for help. Wind chill and freezing temperatures can be life threatening.
· If your vehicle becomes stuck, run your motor sparingly and keep a window cracked to prevent buildup of carbon monoxide.
· Maintain a winter weather survival kit in your vehicle, including a First Aid Kit, phone chargers, blankets, extra clothes, tools, food and water.
The NSP Highway Helpline is available 24 hours per day for motorists in need of assistance. Drivers can reach NSP by dialing *55 from any cell phone. Call 911 for any emergency.