Winter weather descended upon North Carolina just days after Gov. Purdue declared Nov. 28-Dec. 4 as "Winter Weather Preparedness Week" and urged North Carolina residents and business owners to be prepared to stay warm in the event of severe winter weather.
As if on cue, snow, slush and ice have carpeted North Carolina. Snow closures spanned elementary schools to Appalachian State University and quickly spread across the state. The Blue Ridge Parkway, a 469-mile scenic route that winds its way through the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, was closed earlier in the week due to snowy conditions.
The Charlotte Observer reports that highway patrol responded to more than 500 North Carolina car accidents this past weekend, many of them along the Parkway.
As our Asheville car accident lawyers are aware, Western Carolina - particularly around the Asheville area - has been hard hit with traffic fatalities this year. According to the Asheville Citizen-Times, the Asheville Police Department Traffic Safety Unit has investigated a record-breaking 17 fatal car accidents so far this year.
Based on last year's weather pattern, North Carolina Crime Control and Public Safety Secretary Reuben Young anticipates that North Carolina will enjoy several snowfalls this year, and recalls that "our mountains and foothills were especially hard hit in December and January".
To help North Carolina motorists and residents stay warm and safe during the snowy season, Young offers a few tips to help families prepare:
~ Stock up on fresh batteries for flashlights and battery-powered weather radios. Test your 'back-up' heating equipment before the power goes out.
~ If you're relying on a fireplace, keep a fire extinguisher handy.
~ Proper ventilation is critical to preventing carbon monoxide exposure if you are using electric or fuel-powered alternative heating. Never use outdoor heating sources indoors.
~ Keep at least three-days worth of non-perishable food items (and plenty of water) on hand. If you are stuck at home with no power, dress in layers so you can easily add or remove clothes as necessary to stay warm.
~ Stay abreast of current driving conditions by internet, local news or radio. Don't drive if you know your tires can't handle road conditions.
~ Pack an emergency kit for you that includes - a change of clothes, a blanket, snacks and fluids. Make sure your cell phone is charged.
~ Pack an emergency kit for your vehicle that includes - jumper cables, tow rope, flares, a small shovel, a flashlight (don't forget fresh batteries), a first aid kit and a sack of cat litter or sand or salt (for traction if you get stuck).
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