Hazardous travel expected through Sierra during Thanksgiving weekend
Whether traveling by plane, train or automobile, Red Cross has steps you should follow
The Thanksgiving holiday is one of the busiest times of the year for travelers. Millions will hop in planes trains and automobiles to visit loved ones. The American Red Cross offers these tips people can follow to have a safe trip over the upcoming holiday.
DRIVING TO GRANDMA’S HOUSE?
Check the weather along your route and plan for travel around any storms that may be coming. Watch weather predictions for your entire route so you know what to expect along the way. Make sure whomever you are going to see knows your route and expected arrival time.
Start with a travel safety kit that includes:
- Jumper cables (and knowing how to safely use them)
- Some non-perishable food items such as high protein snacks
- Extra drinking water
- Extra windshield washer fluid
- Emergency First Aid kit
- Extra blankets
- Tire gauge
- Don’t forget the pet supplies
- Duct tape for emergency radiator hose repair
- Multi-purpose tool
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Extra cell phone charger
- Road flares, light sticks or reflective triangles
- Portable snow shovel and kitty litter or sand for traction
- Check and maintain tire air pressure for better mileage (tires lose pressure in cold weather)
- Check wiper blades, lights etc. Top off windshield washer fluid. Clean headlights for better visibility at night
- Make sure your spare is good and jack and all tools are intact.
- Use extra caution in work zones
- Give your full attention to the road. Avoid distractions such as cell phones.
- Adjust speed limits to conditions – driving too fast or too slow can increase your chance of being in a collision
- Make frequent stops. During long trips, rotate drivers. If you’re too tired to drive, stop and get some rest.
- Don’t follow another vehicle too closely especially on slippery roads
- Bridges ice over before roads
- Turn your headlights on if snowing or overcast
- Don’t overdrive your headlights at night. Use low beams during when snow is falling
- If you have car trouble, pull off the road as far as possible.
- Keep your car’s gas tank full for emergency use and to keep the fuel line from freezing
If winter weather threatens and you become stuck in the snow, these tips are for you:
- Stay with the car. Do not try to walk to safety. Your car is your lifeboat!
- Tie a brightly colored cloth (preferably red) to car
- Start the car and use the heater for about 10 minutes every hour. Keep the exhaust pipe clear so fumes won’t back up in the car.
- Turn lights on including interior when the engine is running to help rescuers see the vehicle.
- Keep one window away from the blowing wind slightly open to let fresh air in.
PLANES, TRAINS: It’s flu season. If you’ve been sick or been in contact with someone who is sick, consider postponing your trip. You could be contagious for a week before symptoms appear.
- Remember that everything you touch has to be touched by someone else – luggage handlers, etc. Handle your own belongings as much as possible. Wash your hands often with soap and water.
- Carry hand sanitizer and anti-bacterial wipes with you. You can use them to wash your hands or wipe down surfaces such as armrests.
- Avoid touching your face or eyes. If you have to cough or sneeze, do so into a tissue or your sleeve.
A trio of storms on their way into the Sierra could make for hazardous travel off-and-on into the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, with several inches of snow expected around Lake Tahoe and a mix of snow and mostly rain in the Reno area.
The first of the storms was expected to arrive Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. As much as 8 inches of snow is possible in the mountains above Lake Tahoe and up to 5 inches at lake level by Wednesday.
Forecasters say Thanksgiving Day itself may be the best day for travel with sunny skies and mild conditions.
The second storm is expected to move into the Sierra late Friday, and another one is possible as a colder system arrives on Sunday.
The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory through Wednesday morning for the Lake Tahoe area, including Stateline and Incline Village in Nevada and Truckee and South Lake Tahoe, California.
“It’s a weak to moderate winter storm, but it’s definitely going to cause heavy traffic delays,” service meteorologist Scott McGuire told the Reno Gazette-Journal.
The series of storms will make their way across the state from west to east as the week progresses, and could slow travel in parts of north-central and northeast Nevada as well on U.S. Interstate 80 and U.S. Highways 95, 93, 50 and 6, the service said.
“While none of these will be powerful or have much in the way of snow accumulation, they produce small amounts of snow, often very slushy,” the weather service said Tuesday in a statement out of Elko. “Being prepared for snowy travel is a good idea. Having a ‘Plan B’ just in case is smart.”
The system is tracking further north than originally expected, so it should not affect southern Nevada, including the greater Las Vegas area, the service said.
“A generally dry weather pattern with near average temperatures can be expected across the Mojave Desert and southern Great Basin this week,” the service said in Las Vegas.