Winter Weather Survival Guide: Be prepared as arctic blast rolls in

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CLEVELAND (WJW) — Winter weather has arrived, and there are some important things to keep in mind when conditions get wicked out there. We've created a winter weather survival guide with all the information you'll need to be prepared.

Winter Weather Survival Guide:


Are you and your car ready for the snowy, icy roads? Here are tips to keep you safe:

    • Check your battery, tire tread and pressure, windshield wipers and antifreeze
    • Carry emergency supplies like flashlights, a shovel, jumper cables, blankets and an ice scraper
    • Keep your gas tank full
    • Don’t drive using cruise control
    • Slow down and allow plenty of distance in front of you
    • Don’t rush. Check weather and traffic conditions ahead of time and leave early if necessary

(Courtesy: Ohio State Highway Patrol)


If roads get bad, the sheriff of a county may declare a snow emergency and temporarily close roads. You’ve probably heard when a Level 1, 2 or 3 is declared for a certain county.

Here is what that means, according to the Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness:

  • LEVEL 1: Roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow. Roads may also be icy. Drivers are urged to drive very cautiously.
  • LEVEL 2: Roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow. Roads may also be very icy. Only those who feel it is necessary to drive should be out on the roads. Contact your employer to see if you should report to work. Drivers should use extreme caution.
  • LEVEL 3: All roadways are closed to non-emergency personnel. No one should be driving during these conditions unless it is absolutely necessary to travel or a personal emergency exists. All employees should contact their employer to see if they should report to work. Those traveling on the roads may subject themselves to arrest.


Before you leave the house, you might want to double-check your vehicle for the following items:

  • Mobile phone, charger, batteries
  • Blankets/sleeping bags
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • First Aid kit
  • Knife
  • High-calorie, non-perishable food
  • Extra clothing to keep dry
  • Large empty can to use as emergency toilet, tissues and paper towels for sanitary purposes
  • Small can and waterproof matches to melt snow for drinking water
  • Sack of sand or cat litter for traction
  • Shovel
  • Windshield scraper and brush
  • Tool kit
  • Tow rope
  • Battery booster cables
  • Water container
  • Candle and matches to provide light and in an emergency, lifesaving heat
  • Compass and road maps; don’t depend on mobile devices with limited battery life

Read more, here.


Ohio.Gov offers the following tips for drivers who have to go out in the slippery weather:

Speed and Distance – The faster you’re going, the longer it will take to stop. When accelerating on snow or ice, take it slow to avoid slipping and sliding.

Limited Visibility – Stay attentive and reduce speed. Know what’s going on around you.

Brake – Brake early, brake slowly, brake correctly, and never slam on the brakes. If you have anti-lock brakes, press the pedal down firmly and hold it. If you don’t have anti-lock brakes, gently pump the pedal. Either way, give yourself plenty of room to stop.

Control – When driving on ice and snow, do not use cruise control and avoid abrupt steering maneuvers. When merging into traffic, take it slow. Sudden movements can cause your vehicle to slide.

Vision – Be aware of what’s going on well ahead of you. Actions by other vehicles will alert you to problems more quickly, and give you that split-second of extra time to react safely.


FOX 8 is your official school closing station. You hear us say that every winter, but what does it mean?

It means you can count on us to bring you closings and delays first in several different ways:

You can also be the first to know when your child’s school closes for the day by having a text alert sent right to your phone. 

*Click here to get list of closings as they come in*

*Click here to sign up for closing text alerts*

**Click here for the snow day calculator**

**Click here to follow the latest weather updates**

Continuing coverage, here.

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