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Prepare Your Vehicle for Winter Weather

Tips from Fairfax County's Office of Emergency Management

The Jan. 26, 2011, winter storm left many in our region stuck in traffic and stranded in their vehicles for up to 12 hours.

The Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management advises drivers to prepare in advance for winter weather by compiling an emergency travel kit to keep in their vehicle.

They recommend the following items:
• Shovel
• Water
• Flashlight
• Battery (or hand-crank) radio
• Snack food
• Matches
• Extra clothing
• First-aid kit
• Blankets
• Emergency flares
• Booster cables

The Office of Emergency Management also recommends residents check their car's brakes, tires, battery, ignition system, antifreeze, thermostat, de-icing washer fluid, lights and oil on a regular basis.  Regular visits to businesses like can make this easy.

Keeping the gas tank at least half full at all times could prevent the car from running out-of-gas in an unexpected back-up.  If a winter storm is predicted, fill the tank ahead of time.

When driving, keep a lookout for icy areas, especially on bridges and shady areas. For information on traffic, refer to Traffic and Gas on Burke Patch; for road conditions, contact the Virginia Department of Transportation at 5-1-1 or www.511virginia.org.

Additional winter driving safety tips are available on Fairfax County's emergency preparedness Web page.

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