Winter Storm Elliott which is set to move across the United States this week, could potentially become a bomb cyclone over the Midwest, bringing blizzards to parts of the Great Lakes as well as high winds to the East Coast, blocking travelers from taking off for their Christmas vacations.
Several airlines such as American, United, and Southwest have issued winter weather waivers for the Midwest, Texas, the East Coast, and the Central and Northwest United States. The National Weather Service has issued winter storm alerts, including watches and advisories as far east as the Midwest ahead of this storm. These include cities such as Chicago, Des Moines, Milwaukee, and Minneapolis-St. Paul and Omaha.
Also Read | Winter Storm Elliott: What is bomb cyclone?
Here are 5 ways you can stay safe as the weather conditions worsen:
1) Rule of thumb: When you are abiding by this rule while planning to ride out the storm inside the house, you have to remember to have enough food, water, and essential medications to last at least 72 hours or three days. So it’s best to stock up, including essential commodities like first aid supplies, a torch and batteries in case of a power outage.
2) Alternate source of heat: While you are stocking up, it is always good to have an emergency heat source such as a ventilated generator and a functional carbon monoxide detector.
3) Say no to travel: Blizzard conditions reduce visibility, often to less than a quarter of a mile, and bring winds greater than 35mph.
“Those two things combined can create whiteout conditions where you literally cannot see right in front of you, so you do not want to be outside in that kind of a storm,” Michael Muccilli, the winter program co-ordinator with the National Weather Service, said.
4) Drivers to be well rested: However if you are planning on taking a trip, especially to be out on the road for long hours, it is advisable that drivers are “well rested, well fed, and well hydrated” before starting the journey. In addition, the vehicle should be in good condition to withstand the brutal weather conditions outside.
5) Check forecasts and drive slow: Before embarking on your journey, drivers should check forecasts and conditions for key points along the trip as well as the destination. Also, drivers should allow themselves extra time to reach their destination as they might need to drive slower than usual, as the roads may be icy.