With extreme winter weather making its way to New Mexico early Sunday morning, the New Mexico State Police wants to remind New Mexicans to make precautions for potential hazardous weather.
“Winter weather in New Mexico can be very dangerous and unpredictable,” said Chief Robert Thornton. “When it comes to winter weather, it is important to be prepared for snow, ice, sleet, or freezing temperatures.”
Drivers are encouraged to avoid unnecessary travel and keep the following emergency supplies in their vehicles:
- Blanket or sleeping bag
- Extra clothes, gloves, and a hat
- Cell phone, radio, flashlight, extra batteries, and phone charger
- First aid kit and pocketknife
- Non-perishable food and bottled water
- A bag of sand or cat litter to provide traction for tire
- Windshield scraper, tool kit, booster cables, tow rope and a shovel; and Jumper cables.
In addition, New Mexico State Police offers the following tips to stay safe during winter weather:
- Monitor local weather broadcasts to check the latest weather conditions
- Be aware that ice accumulates on bridges and overpasses before drivers will see it on roads and highways, so approach them more slowly in winter weather.
- Avoid traveling when sleet, freezing rain or snow is predicted
- If you must drive in inclement weather, allow extra time to reach your destination.
- On icy roads, drive slowly and increase the distance between your vehicle and others, as you may need increased room to stop your vehicle. Do not use cruise control.
- Ensure your vehicle is properly maintained, and the gas tank is full.
- Insulate outside faucets and pipes near outer walls.
- Make sure furnaces, heaters, fireplaces, and wood stoves are clean, well-ventilated and in good working condition.
- Keep space heaters at least three feet away from walls and flammable materials, and do not operate these machines when you are asleep. Also ensure the space heater cannot tip over.
- To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, never operate a generator or other fuel-powered device inside a home, garage, or other enclosed space. The odorless, colorless gas is deadly and is produced any time a fossil fuel is burned.
- Check on friends and family members whose health or age may put them at greater risk with hazardous weather.
- Make arrangements for proper shelter and an emergency supply of food and water for your pets and livestock.
- Stock up on firewood and supplies, including canned goods, bottled water, and medication.