Unsettled weather has arrived in California with plentiful rain and heavy mountain snow, which has prompted the National Weather Service to issue multiple Winter Storm Watches for many parts of the state.
Cal OES would like to remind drivers to make sure they’re prepared to travel safely in changing weather conditions.
Winter Storm Preparedness Tips
Stay Safe on the Roads:
- Prepare your car for winter and keep an emergency preparedness kit with you.
- Be weather wise and know the weather forecast during your travel.
- Learn the weather/climate risks for the area you are travelling to and know what to do before, during, and after such events.
- Limit travel during and after a winter storm.
- Keep the proper emergency road tools in the trunk of your automobile.
Emergency Kit for the Car:
In case you are stranded, keep an emergency supply kit in your car with these extras:
- Jumper cables
- Flares or reflective triangles
- Ice scraper
- Car cell phone charger
- Blankets, towels, and extra clothing
- Water and snacks
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- Cat litter or sand to aid with traction should you get stuck
Prepare Your Car for Emergencies
Have a mechanic check the following on your car before an emergency:
- Antifreeze levels
- Battery and ignition system
- Exhaust system
- Fuel and air filters
- Heater and defroster
- Lights and flashing hazard lights
- Windshield wiper equipment and washer fluid level
Car Safety Tips
- Keep your gas tank full in case of evacuations, unexpected detours, or power outages. A full tank will also keep the fuel line from freezing.
- Install good winter tires and make sure they have enough tread, or any chains or studs required in your local area.
- Do not drive through flooded areas. Six inches of water can cause a vehicle to lose control or possibly stall. A foot of water will float many cars.
- Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded. Roads may have weakened and could collapse under the weight of a car.
- If a power line falls on your car you are at risk of electrical shock. Stay inside until trained personnel can remove the wire.
- If it becomes hard to control your car, pull over, stop the car and set the parking brake.
- If the emergency could affect the stability of the roadway, avoid overpasses, bridges, power lines, signs, and other hazards.
And if you must drive, download the QuickMap app or visit QuickMap (ca.gov) to learn up-to-the-minute information on road conditions, traffic, closures, chain control, and more.