Winter weather advisory: How to prepare your home and vehicle

Icicles (WISH Photo/ Teresa Mackin)

CENTRAL INDIANA (WISH) — Storm Track 8 meteorologists are tracking a winter storm system moving into central Indiana late Friday. Forecasts include freezing rain and a chance for ice accumulation.

Ice can have a startling impact on trees and power lines, which can cause massive outages in impacted areas. Pair that will frigid temperatures and it can be a big safety threat.

It’s important to have the phone numbers and mobile apps ready to report outages to your electricity provider and be prepared for outages to last longer that you would normally expect.

“The important thing for a customer is to really know and to practice is to plan ahead. When you’re seeing freezing rain, just imagine the impact that freezing rain and ice can have on a power line. It typically takes in terms of restoration process a little bit longer,” Brandy Davis Handy said.

Here are some things you should have prepared in your home for a power outage:

  • Flashlights with extra batteries
  • Portable radio with fresh batteries
  • First-aid kit
  • Canned or packaged food that can be prepared without cooking or refrigeration
  • Several days’ supply of drinking water
  • Portable (and fully charged) cell phone charger
  • Prescription medication

Many agencies across the area are encouraging people not to travel if they don’t have to Friday night and early Saturday.

The Indy Snow Force will be deploying crews as needed, but department spokespeople said with the temperature increasing during the day and rain moving in, the timing can be difficult.

“When we have rain leading up to an event that could possibly turn into snowfall or freezing rain, we do not pretreat roads simply because the salt would wash away, however because of that we need to monitor weather conditions very closely, we watch for a dip in temperatures as well,” Jennifer Hashem said.

Here are some items you should have in your car for that dreaded situation when you may be stranded:

  • Warm clothes and proper shoes
  • A blanket
  • First aid kit and medications
  • Food and water

It’s also important to keep your vehicle fueled up in the event you would have to idle for a long period of time and that it is up to date on service and has safe tires.

If you plan on taking public transportation, Indy Go just sent out an advisory within the hour asking riders to put safety over schedule. Plan extra time and wear warm clothes with bright colored clothing so that bus drivers can spot you waiting at a stop.