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January 10, 2012 

 

 

 

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Keeping Informed
 
The Charles County Government alerts citizens of cancellations, closings and delays and other helpful information, through the Citizen Notification System (CNS). Alerts may include:
  • Snow plowing/snow removal.
  • Power outages, including helpful tips if the power goes out.
  • Transit information.
  • Downed trees/branches.
  • Sidewalks, Driveways, and Entrances
     
For snow related inquiries or concerns, please call the Charles County Government's snow hotline at 1-888-460-SNOW (7669). Please call 9-1-1 for health/safety emergencies.
  
  
Ways to Find Information
  • Sign up for CNS (text alert system). This is Charles County Government's free service that sends text messages to your mobile device, as well as an e-mail during an emergency.
     
  • Check the Charles County Government's website to register for CNS, and while there, you can also become a fan of our Facebook page.
    *Watch the CCGTV cable channel for updates (Comcast 95 or Verizon 10).
  • Media such as TV news stations and local newspapers.
  • Localized additional resources, such as local radio station signals, emergency hotlines, etc.
     

Information about storm events will be posted as needed at www.CharlesCountyMD.gov.

 
This information is provided by the Charles County Government Public Information Office for informational purposes.
Winter Driving Safety
 
Preparing Your Vehicle
  

Tire ChainsThe Charles County Government reminds motorists that winter driving can be hazardous, especially in our area where we normally receive a mixture of ice, freezing rain and snow, which causes travel difficulties including slippery roads and limited visibility. The Charles County Government is advising motorists to make sure their vehicles are equipped with a well-stocked winter driving kit. A winter driving kit should include the following items:

  • Properly fitting tire chains
  • Bag of sand or salt (or kitty litter)
  • Traction mats
  • Snow shovel
  • Snow brush
  • Ice scraper
  • Booster cables
  • Warning devices such as flares or emergency lights
  • Fuel line de-icer (methanol, also called methyl alcohol or methyl hydrate)
  • Extra windshield wiper fluid appropriate for sub-freezing temperatures
  • Roll of paper towels
  • Flashlight and a portable flashing light (and extra batteries)
  • Blanket
  • Extra clothing, including hat and wind-proof pants, and warm footwear
  • First-aid kit
  • Snack bars or other "emergency" food and water
  • Matches and emergency candles. Only use these with a window opened to prevent build-up of carbon monoxide.
  • Road maps
  • "Call Police" or other help signs or brightly colored banners

Safe Winter Driving Tips

 

The Charles County Government reminds motorists to stay safe in the winter by also following these tips:

  • Always keep the gas tank as full as possible. When it gets to half, fill it up.
  • Do not travel unless absolutely necessary. If you do have to make the trip, ensure someone is aware of your route of travel.
  • Carry a cellular phone. Your cell phone can be used during emergencies and for notifying those expecting your arrival in case there are weather delays.
  • Always buckle-up. Your seat belt can be the best protection against drivers who are tense and in a hurry because of weather conditions.
  • Clear snow and ice from all windows and lights - even the hood and roof - before driving.
  • Pay attention. Don't try to out-drive the conditions. Remember the posted speed limits are for dry pavement.
  • Leave plenty of room for stopping.
  • Leave room for maintenance vehicles and plows - stay back a safe stopping distance and don't pass on the right.
  • Know the current road conditions.
  • Use brakes carefully. Brake early. Brake correctly. It takes more time to stop in adverse conditions.
  • Watch for slippery bridges, even when the rest of the pavement is in good condition.
  • Bridges will ice up sooner than the adjacent pavement.
  • Don't use your cruise control in wintry conditions. Even roads that appear clear can have sudden slippery spots and the short touch of your brakes to deactivate the cruise control feature can cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
  • Don't get overconfident in your 4x4 vehicle. Remember that your four-wheel drive vehicle may help you get going quicker than other vehicles but it won't help you stop any faster.
  • Many 4x4 vehicles are heavier than passenger vehicles and actually may take longer to stop.
  • Don't get overconfident in your 4x4 vehicle's traction. Your 4x4 can lose traction as quickly as a two-wheel drive vehicle.
  • Do not pump anti-lock brakes. If your car is equipped with anti-lock brakes, do not pump brakes in attempting to stop. The right way is to "stomp and steer!"
  • Look farther ahead in traffic than you normally do. Actions by cars and trucks will alert you quicker to problems and give you a split-second extra time to react safely.
  • Remember that trucks are heavier than cars. Trucks take longer to safely respond and come to a complete stop, so avoid cutting quickly in front of them.
  • Go slow!
  • Treat all "dark" intersections as four-way stops. Stop - then proceed cautiously. This is critically important to ensuring vehicular and pedestrian safety.

Driving in Snow 

 

Travel Safety

  • Before winter weather arrives, have your car tuned up, fueled, fluid levels checked and make sure the battery is fully charged and check that your tires have adequate air pressure and tire tread.
  • Avoid driving in ice or snow storms. If you must travel in bad weather, do so during daylight and drive slowly. Use main roads and inform someone of your route as well as schedule.
  • Keep emergency gear in your car, such as a cell phone, flashlight, jumper cables, road maps, sand or kitty litter, ice scraper, shovel, blankets and warning device.
  • If traveling a far distance, keep food, water and medication on hand.
  • If you get caught on the road during a winter storm, stay in the car. Do not seek shelter or a telephone unless you can see one nearby. For heat, turn the car engine on for brief periods of time and keep the exhaust pipe clear of snow. Turn on your dome light at night to signal rescuers.
  • If you must drive, have a full tank of fuel, pack a blanket and keep your cell phone charged. Let someone know your route of travel and stay on the main roads. Decide on a meeting place if your family cannot return home because of road closures.
  • Charles County's public safety officials strongly advise residents to stay home, and not to attempt to drive. The combination of snow, strong gusty winds and blowing snow will make travel extremely difficult, if not impossible. People are urged to remain at home and not to drive. This will help road crews keep roads clear for emergency vehicles.

If You Are Stranded in Your Vehicle

  • Do not leave your car to try to walk for assistance. You can quickly become disoriented in wind-driven snow and cold. Wait in your car for emergency help to arrive.
  • Periodically run your engine for about 10 minutes each hour for heat.
  • Ensure that your exhaust pipe is cleared of snow and ice.
  • Crack your windows to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Tie a colored cloth to your car's antenna to be visible to rescuers.
  • From time to time, move your arms, legs, fingers and toes to keep blood circulating.

 

Drive Carefully (or not at all) - Watch Where You Park 

  • Do not park vehicles on snow emergency routes when snow emergencies are declared.
  • Park vehicles in driveways where available and leave room for plows to clear the street.
  • Do not drive unless necessary, so roads will be open for emergency and snow-removal vehicles.
  • Beware of black ice when driving - melting during the day can give way to freezing at night.
  • Avoid accidents - clear snow from the top of car roofs before driving.