Traveling in a Winter Storm

By WEEK Reporter

January 31, 2011 Updated Jan 31, 2011 at 9:39 PM CDT

The Illinois Department of Transportation says it will have snow plows and salt trucks out on the roads in advance of the winter storm, during and afterwards.

Still an I-DOT spokesman says motorists should not expect the roads to be clear during the storm due to the large amounts of snow and the potential for drifting afterwards.

So if you must travel, take it slow and allow plenty of extra time to get to your destination.

Here are some tips for preparing for your trip:
Take a cell phone
Make sure gas tank is two-thirds full
Make sure someone knows the route you are supposed to take and call them when you get to your destination.

Here are some items you should have in your vehicle:
Cell phone and charger, blankets, non-perishable food and water, extra socks, gloves and hats, an ice scraper and brush, tow rope and road salt or cat litter.

If you get stranded during your travel here are some tips to follow:
Stay calm
If possible, pull off the highway and turn your hazard lights on and hang a bright colored cloth on your antenna
Call 911
Remain in your vehicle
Run your vehicle engine and heater ten minutes each hour to keep warm. Make sure the snow is away from your vehicle's exhaust pipe.
Drink fluids
Don't waste battery power - keep everything off until you need it.
Turn on radio or inside vehicle light only when running vehicle's engine.