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Travel safe in winter weather

The old Scout motto, “Be Prepared,” is the best advice for Thanksgiving travelers.

The Madison County Sheriff’s Office has compiled a list of items you might want to pack in the car.

It begins with a flashlight and extra batteries. Bring your cell phone with a vehicle charger or extra batteries and stock some extra car fuses just in case.

Other safety gear should include flares or reflective triangles, jumper cables, winter formula window washer solvent, an ice scraper and a general first aid kit.

Be sure to keep the gas tank full. And, make sure to have enough cash on hand to pay for it.

It’s also a good idea to pack rags or paper towels, several bottles of water, non-perishable food items, and an ice-scraper, snow brush and snow shovel.

Don’t forget tire chains and non-clumping kitty litter for tire traction. And remember an extra set of clothes and a blanket.

Check the weather forecast and try to avoid traveling in a snow storm. Call 5-1-1 or visit for latest road conditions.

If you do get stuck in a storm, play it smart.

If visibility is too bad, pull over and stop before you run into another car or person.

Stay inside your car, unless you can see a building next to you. It is very easy to become disoriented or lost during a snowstorm.

Turn your heater on occasionally, but keep a window cracked to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Don’t leave the heater on for more than ten minutes every half-hour or so to avoid running out of gas.

Make sure your tailpipe isn’t blocked by snow, because that can send carbon monoxide into the car. Stay hydrated and do a little exercise, otherwise keep your seatbelt on in case another vehicle runs into you.

And, at night, keep the overhead light in your vehicle on, so others can see you.

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