Prepare Yourself for Winter Weather

  • Know before you go! Before you ever plan to drive, check or your 511 app for current road conditions.
  • Make sure you have enough fuel. Keep at least half a tank.
  • Clear all snow fro the hood (especially the air intake vents), roof, windows, and lights. Clear all windows of fog.
  • If you are forced to stop at the side of the road, put on emergency flashers.
  • Carrying a cell phone gives you an edge in an emergency. A car charger for the phone battery, or an extra charged battery is also a good idea. Never use the phone while you are driving the car.
  • Give yourself extra time to travel, plan your route and let someone know your destination, the highways you will travel on, and when you will be expected.
  • Keep to the main roads. Avoid passing another vehicle when weather conditions are bad.
  • Wear warm clothing that does not restrict movement. Dressing in layers is always a good idea.
  • Pack a Vehicle Survival Kit and keep it in the trunk of the car at all times. 


Prepare Your Vehicle for Winter Weather

  • Get a complete tune-up in the fall. Check your tire pressure at least once a month.
  • Have your exhaust system carefully checked for leaks that could send carbon monoxide into your vehicle. 
  • Check your radiator and hoses for cracks and leaks. Check anti-freeze and heater.
  • Make sure wipers are in good condition, and fill up on winter washer fluid.
  • Check your tires.
    • Tire Chains - It is permissible to use tire chains of reasonable proportions upon any vehicle when required for safety because of snow, ice, or other condition tending to cause a vehicle to slide or skid. (Section 60-6, 250)
    • Studded Snow Tire Use in NE - Motorists may use studded snow tires in Nebraska from November 1 to April 1. School buses, emergency vehicles, and mail carrier vehicles may use them any time during the year.


If you become trapped in a storm, don't panic! The following steps can save your life:

  • Avoid overexertion and exposure. Shoveling and bitter cold can kill.
  • Stay in your car. You won't get lost and you'll have shelter.
  • Keep fresh air in your car. Crack open a window on the side sheltered from the wind.
  • Run your engine sparingly. Beware of exhaust fumes and the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Ensure the tailpipe is not blocked by snow.
  • Set out a warning light or flares.
  • Exercise your limbs - keep moving and don't fall asleep.
  • Wear a hat, as you can lose up to 60 percent of your body heat through your head. 


Winter Weather Words to Know

  • Winter Storm Watch - A winter storm is possible or approaching.
  • Winter Storm Warning - A winter storm is imminent.
  • Snow Advisory - One to five inches is expected.
  • Blowing and Drifting Snow Advisory - Visibility can be at or below a quarter mile.
  • Wind Chill Advisory - Wind chills of -30 to -35 are expected.
  • Freezing Rain/Sleet Advisory - An accumulation of freezing rain or sleet could make exposed surfaces dangerous or cause damage.
  • No Unnecessary Travel - The road is open but travel is not recommended due to hazardous driving conditions. Generally, this advisory is posted during winter months due to extremely icy conditions, when visibility is limited due to blowing snow, or when a combination of conditions makes travel ill-advised.
  • Black Ice - A thin coating or glaze of ice on the road that is particularly dangerous as it may appear to be a film of water or may not be visible/discernible at all.
  • Blowing Snow - Snow propelled by the wind across or along the road surface at least 1 foot above the ground.
  • Reduced Visibility - Visibility less than 400 feet for any reason.