Plan ahead for winter travel

Central Point, Ore.- Jackson County Search and Rescue crews have been busy, as they continue to field a record number of calls. In the last 24 hours alone, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and its volunteers saved three lost hunters and another couple who ran out of gas on back roads.

The incidents are serving as a reminder its time for people to get prepared for the changing seasons. Whether you’re heading outdoors to hunt or hike, or taking a trip on roads that could be impacted by snow, the sheriff’s office says a plan is essential.

“Just a little bit of preparedness of having the 10 essentials will keep you more comfortable for sure and possibly could save your life,” Sgt. Shawn Richards of the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office says.

Here’s a list of planning and preparedness tips from the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office:

  • Take enough food, water and supplies to be on your own for at least 24 hours.
  • Keep your car stocked with winter survival gear, just in case. Necessities include tire chains, flashlight, blanket, dry clothes, water, food, medications, waterproof boots, gloves and a small shovel.
  • Start your trip with a full tank of gas.
  • Tell someone where you’re going and stick to your planned route.
  • Pay attention to weather updates. A good local resource is the National Weather Service
  • Consider buying a personal locator beacon. They are relatively inexpensive and can help police find you sooner.
  • Avoid back country roads. They are not maintained and the chance of someone finding you if you’re stranded is much lower. Stick to well-traveled roads and highways.
  • Don’t rely on your cellphone. Most of the problem areas have poor or no service. If you can’t make a call, try sending a text-message- they take less bandwidth.
  • If you know someone who is missing, call the sheriff’s office as soon as possible. You don’t have to wait a certain amount of time before calling.
  • If you can avoid traveling in inclement weather, just stay home.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office says it will always help in an emergency, but it may take hours for them to respond depending on the location, conditions, and call volume.

Kristin Hosfelt anchors NBC5 News at 6 with NBC5 News Director Craig Smullin. Kristin is originally from the Bay Area. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Broadcast Journalism from San Jose State University.

She comes to KOBI-TV/NBC5 from Bangor, Maine where she was the evening news anchor. Kristin has won multiple journalism awards including Best Feature Reporting in the State of Maine.

When Kristin is not sharing the news she's hunting down the best burrito, hiking a local trail or buried in a Jodi Picoult novel. She's also a Green Bay Packers shareholder! If you see her out and about she'd be happy to tell you how a California girl became a Cheesehead.

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