‘Be prepared and be patient’: What to do if you’re stranded in Nebraska winter storm
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — The winter storm hitting Lincoln on Wednesday evening could bring whiteout conditions and extremely slick roads, making driving dangerous.
“The combination between wind and snow is going to make your visibility go down to under a quarter of a mile or even zero,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Brian Smith.
These conditions make it easy to get disoriented and easy for drivers to get stranded on or near the roads in subzero temperatures.
“If you’re getting minus 40-degree windchill, it only takes 10 minutes to get frostbite,” Smith said.
Travel is not advised, but if you must, keep a flashlight, shovel, food, water and extra layers of clothing in your vehicle.
If you find yourself stranded, stay in the car as long as possible.
“Clean out that area around the exhaust pipe and fill up your gas tank as well,” AAA spokesman Brian Ortner said. “Leave your car running to keep it warm inside, let it warm up and put yourself in blankets.”
Experts also advise making your car as visible as possible by keeping dome lights on, putting your hood up or tying a bright piece of fabric to the mirror.
“If you don’t have to drive, don’t,” Ortner said.
If you do have to go out, have a phone charger so you can make calls for help.
The Nebraska State Patrol has its Highway Helpline ready for any stranded travelers in need of assistance.
Dial *55 and wait in your vehicle, the patrol said. Help will be there as soon as possible.
“Be prepared and be patient,” Ortner said.