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
Nicole Costantino is a reporter and weather forecaster for NBC5 News. She comes to us from Phoenix, Arizona where she graduated from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. She also received a minor in Meteorology.
Before coming to NBC5 News Nicole was an anchor, weathercaster and reporter at KAET in Phoenix, AZ. In college, she interned for CBS Evening News in New York City and the NBC4 Investigative Team in Los Angeles.
In her free time, you can find Nicole cheering on her Sun Devils and exploring the Pacific Northwest. Feel free to send story ideas and chocolate chip cookie recipes to her on Facebook (@NicoleCostantino) or Twitter (@NicCostantino).