ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – With winter storms approaching the state this week, proper planning can help keep New Mexicans safe. The New Mexico Department of Transportation and PNM have issued some safety tips to keep in mind ahead of winter weather.
PNM safety tips in case of an outage
- Keep an outage kit in your home with winter items like rock salt, firewood or other heating fuels, snow removal tools, coats, hats, gloves and blankets. Your kit should already contain items like water, non-perishable food, flashlights, a first aid kit, a small radio, and batteries.
- Be sure that all members of your household, including anyone who may need medication or medical devices, children and/or pets are provided for when preparing your outage kit.
- Snow and ice accumulations on overhead power lines can cause the lines to break and fall to the ground. Do not touch downed or sagging power lines, and consider them, and anything touching them, energized and dangerous. Stay as far away as possible and immediately contact PNM at 888-DIAL-PNM (888-342-5766).
- Do not use your oven as a source of heat. If you have an emergency heating or power source, learn how to use it properly well before storm season.
- If the power may be out for a prolonged period, plan to go to another location (the home of a relative or friend, or a public facility) that has heat to keep warm.
NMDOT has issued the following safe winter driving tips:
- Reduce your speed. The best accident prevention on snow and ice is to SLOW DOWN and leave plenty of room between you and the vehicle in front of you for emergencies.
- Practice good winter driving techniques. Keep your gas tank full, turn on your headlights, keep your windshield washer fluid full with antifreeze, keep winter driving chains in your vehicle, have a winter survival kit, which includes:
- Hand warmers packets
- First-aid supplies
- High energy snacks
- Bottled water and read your owner’s manual for special instructions on driving 4-wheel drive vehicles and vehicles with ABS on snow and ice.
- Avoid driving in a snow cloud. Large vehicles, such as semi-trailer trucks and snowplows, may produce dense clouds of blowing snow that make it difficult for drivers to see. When drivers encounter snow clouds, they should stay back to avoid the cloud.
- Plan ahead and be patient. Delays are common during bad weather. Leave a little earlier and be patient with delays
- Check before you pass. Know where a snowplow and blade are before trying to pass. On multi-lane highways, the plow can be in your blind spot. Before attempting to pass make sure it is safe.
- Pay attention to weather forecasts. Winter storms in New Mexico can become severe quickly, so stay tuned to weather forecasts when planning your trip.
- Don’t use cruise control. Never use cruise control when the roads are in slippery conditions. Using your cruise control can reduce your control of the vehicle if your tires begin to skid or slip.
- Know your current road conditions. Visit the NMDOT website for current road advisory information at http://nmroads.com, or dial 511 in the state, or call 1-800-432-4269. You can also view KRQE’s Traffic Map.
- Wear your seatbelt. Wear your seatbelt and make sure all passengers also “buckle up.”