MEDFORD, Ore.— Although the Rogue Valley is far from seeing winter weather, other areas in southern Oregon have already seen some snow in higher elevations. But as it turns out, the perfect time to get prepared for severe weather might be sooner than you think.
NBC5 asked the Oregon Department of Transportation just how early you should prepare to keep you and your family safe come wintertime.
“Obviously we are in the summer season and people may not really be thinking about the inclement weather that’s coming, but it is the time to do that now,” said ODOT spokesman Gary Leaming. “The statistics show that once we get into the winter months our crash rates go up.”
ODOT says you can prepare now by taking an assessment of your vehicle, like making sure you have enough tread on your tires and checking your wiper blades, in case they were damaged from the summer heat. In addition to preparing the outside of your car, ODOT also recommends preparing the inside as well.
Although ODOT says the best way to stay safe is give yourself a little more time on the roads, here’s a list of suggested items:
- Sturdy ice scraper and snow brush
- Gloves and other winter clothing
- Emergency flares or reflectors
- Rock salt, sand or kitty litter.
- First aid kit (medication)
- Extra windshield washer fluid (make sure your windshield washer fluid has antifreeze components to prevent it from freezing)
- Rope or chain
- Jumper cables
- Small tool kit
- Cell phone charger
- Water and non-perishable snacks