Winter is here- Cold weather coming soon
Jackson, Miss — Mississippi’s weather over the past week hasn’t really made it feel like Christmastime, much less winter. Despite what the weather is doing right now, winter is officially upon us, and anyone who has lived in Mississippi for any length of time knows that the weather can change in the blink of an eye.
It’s never too early to start preparing for winter weather storms and extreme cold conditions. The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) urges the traveling public to prepare before winter weather moves through the state.
“MDOT’s number one priority is the safety of the traveling public,” said MDOT Executive Director Melinda McGrath. “While weather isn’t something we can control, we can be prepared for winter weather beforehand. MDOT encourages everyone to take the necessary precautions to ensure they are as safe as possible this winter season.”
Preparing before winter weather moves through Mississippi is the number one thing motorists can so to keep themselves and their passengers safe. No one ever wants their car to break down, especially not in cold, icy or snowy weather. Before winter weather sets in and before you get in the car to travel during the winter months, there are a number of things you should do to ensure your vehicle is in optimal condition.
Have your vehicle battery and charging system checked for optimum performance.
Clean, flush and put new antifreeze in your vehicle’s cooling system.
Have your brakes checked.
Make sure your heater, defroster and windshield wipers work properly.
MDOT also suggests creating a winter weather car kit to keep in your vehicle in case of a winter weather emergency. Here are some suggested items for your kit:
Flashlight with extra batteries
Cell phone charger
MDOT does more than just offer preparation tips to motorists during winter weather. MDOT monitors road and traffic conditions constantly through its Traffic Management Center (TMC).
Using traffic cameras, congestion analysis technology, radar and temperature sensors, along with local agency communication, MDOT’s TMC observes the most traveled highways in the state to ensure the safety and mobility of the traveling public. MDOT’s TMC is the information hub or nerve center of Mississippi’s highway management system. During winter weather storms, as well as other weather-related emergencies, TMC staff is on even higher alert for road and bridge closures.
At the click of a button, important traveler information about Mississippi’s highways is sent to approximately 100,000 people across the state. The TMC releases traveler information in many ways:
Traffic alerts are sent via email or text to people who sign up on MDOTTraffic.com
Information is released through our smartphone app
Travel information and alerts can also be accessed by calling Mississippi 511
Dynamic Message Signs
Highway Advisory Radios
Social media outlets
Using these avenues of communication, MDOT is able to notify the public of concerns that may impact their commute to work or school. MDOT’s three free travel resources, MDOTtraffic.com, the MDOT Traffic mobile app and Mississippi 511, also provide an opportunity for Mississippians to know before they go this winter.
Surviving winter is as simple as being aware of and prepared for changing weather conditions. Communicate these safety preparedness tips with family and friends who you know will be traveling throughout the winter season.