Troup Co. Sheriff's office: Winter safety tips

Press Release

With the threat of winter weather approaching, watches and warnings have been issued appropriately by the National Weather Service.

If you can stay at home and work from your house or enjoy the time off with your family, we encourage you to do so.

If you have to get out on the road or travel(even on a short commute), you should already have a safety plan in place for rapidly deteriorating weather and roadway conditions.

Sometimes these safety plans get lost in translation. Panic and quickly-evolving surroundings can erase even the most well thought-out of all plans. Therefore, the Troup County Sheriff's Office recommends that you not only have an emergency winter weather plan; But, practice the plan in-action with the whole family and ensure that you have all the necessary materials to execute the plan and that all the materials needed are in proper working condition.

Emergency conditions can come without warning. The time of need is not the time to find out that your plans have major flaws. Here are some suggestions to consider from the National Safety Council as the incoming winter weather approaches:

Utilizing the time before-hand to your advantage by making sure that your car can"weather" the storm.

*Check the ignition, brakes, wiring, hoses and belts.
*Check spark plugs.
*Check all fluids.
*Check the battery and its connectors.
*Check tire air pressure, wear and tread depth.
*Check your anti-freeze levels.
*Fill your car with proper amount of gasoline.

*If you have the enough lead-time, have a mechanic tune-up your car. This will ensure that you car starts quicker, has faster response, gets better gas mileage and has the power necessary for an emergency condition.

Packing your car(s) with the right amount of necessary supplies, should you become stranded for any length of time.

Blankets, hand warmers, cell phone charger, working flashlight, extra batteries, reflective triangles/brightly-colored cloth, first-aid kit, compass, ice scraper, wooden stick matches in a waterproof container, non-perishable and easily opened foods, road flares, shovel, etc.

Having these supplies in your car at all times is a good idea – *A properly inflated spare tire, wheel wrench, tripod jack, jumper cables and a basic tool kit.

If you get stranded – *Do not leave your car unless you know exactly where you are, how far it is to possible help, and are certain you will improve your situation.

Use your cell phone to call for help, charge it as necessary and leave it on for as long as you can. Many cell phones can allow those who are searching to find you more quickly by using GPS signals.

*To attract attention, light two flares and place one at each end of the car a safe distance away. Hang a brightly colored cloth from your antenna.

*If you are sure the car's exhaust pipe is not blocked run the engine and heater for a few minutes every hour, or so, depending on the amount of gas in the tank.

*Keep at least one window open slightly. Heavy snow and ice can seal a car shut.

*Monitor your weather radio or car radio for any pertinent updates on changing conditions.

Winter weather can throw even the most-"seasoned" of drivers into a dangerous situation with very little warning. Combining slower traffic with hot tempers and a lack of winter-weather driving experience together can result in a bad "snow day" for you and your family. Again, stay at home if you can, take the proper precautions with your automobile and know how to react in an emergency situation!

Should you have any further questions on staying safe throughout the season, please call the Troup County Sheriff's Office at (706)883-1616.

You may also visit our website for safety tips on driving in winter weather, home safety and much more –