The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is urging Texans to monitor weather forecasts and take necessary precautions due to the threat of severe or winter weather in various parts of the state. Travelers are advised to monitor weather conditions along their route before travelling, and avoid unnecessary travel if possible in affected areas.

Texans are encouraged to follow these safety tips in the event of severe weather or flooding:

  • When severe storms threaten, the safest place to be is indoors.  See http://dps.texas.gov/dem/ThreatAwareness/weather_aware_severe.htm for additional safety tips.
  • Avoid areas already flooded and avoid any fast-flowing water.
  • Be extremely cautious of any water on roads or in creeks, streams, storm drains or other areas – never attempt to cross flowing streams or drive across flooded roadways and always observe road barricades placed for your protection. (Please note it is against the law to go around barriers.)
  • Dangerous waters can seem deceptively calm, and if you encounter flooding, move to higher ground.
  • Keep in mind that flood dangers are even harder to recognize at night.
  • Stay informed by monitoring weather radios and news broadcasts for updated information on current and anticipated severe weather in your area.

For additional safety tips related to flooding, see http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/dem/ThreatAwareness/flashFloodAwareness.htm.

DPS offers the following tips for staying safe during winter weather:

  • Avoid traveling when sleet, freezing rain or snow is predicted, and monitor road conditions by visiting www.drivetexas.org.
  • Monitor local weather broadcasts and follow up-to-the-minute weather conditions, at http://www.weather.gov/.
  • Purchase an all-hazards weather radio for up-to-date warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazard information.
  • Sign up for your local emergency notification system.
  • On icy roads, drive slowly and increase distance required for stopping, and avoid using cruise control.  Remember that ice often forms first on overpasses.
  • Watch for downed trees and power lines across roads. If power is out, treat all intersections as four-way stops.
  • Make sure your vehicle is properly maintained before any trip.
  • Keep your gas tank full.

Winterize your vehicle by checking the battery, windshield wipers (including appropriate freeze resistant-fluid), tire pressure, tire tread, fluid levels, and lubricate door and trunk locks to prevent freezing. In addition, here is a list of emergency supplies drivers can keep in their vehicle:

  • Blankets/sleeping bags, extra clothing, gloves and a hat.
  • Cell phone, radio, flashlight and extra batteries.
  • First-aid kit and pocket knife.
  • High calorie, non-perishable food and bottled water.
  • Bag of sand or cat litter to provide traction for tires.
  • Windshield scraper, tool kit, booster cables, tow rope and a shovel.

Visit http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/dem/ThreatAwareness/winterstorm.htm for additional information and tips regarding winter weather preparedness.