LINCOLN, Neb. – The Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) is urging motorists to be prepared for potentially hazardous driving conditions during the severe winter storm that is expected to impact nearly all of Nebraska during the next 24-36 hours.
“We’ve been monitoring the forecasts for this storm closely,” said Colonel John Bolduc, Superintendent of the Nebraska State Patrol. “Now that the National Weather Service has issued a Blizzard Warning for dozens of counties from southwest to northeast Nebraska, it’s imperative that drivers prepare for potentially dangerous conditions on Nebraska roads.”
Many communities are declaring a snow emergency ahead of the storm. NSP encourages citizens to follow the snow emergency plans in their local communities and, if possible, avoid travel during the storm. Travelers are urged to stay up-to-date on travel conditions with information available through Nebraska 511. 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 will have troopers on the road to assist drivers in need of help. 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.
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. 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.
· Carry a red flag or bandana in your car and attach it to the outside to signal for help.
· Keep a winter weather survival kit in your vehicle as you travel.