Thursday February 21, 2008
Aims to avoid clogging roadways in face of ice storm
With the approaching hazardous winter storm closing local schools, Mayor Jerry Abramson today called for employers, especially those at Louisville’s major employment centers, to stagger the early release of employees beginning at 11 a.m.
Louisville Metro Government will begin releasing non-essential personnel beginning at 11 a.m. Employees will be released over the next several hours at regular intervals.
“In light of the school closings, we want parents to get home safely to be with their children,” Abramson said. “We also don’t want traffic jams to prevent our crews from clearing the roads and streets.”
The staggered release of employees is especially important in areas such as downtown, Bluegrass Industrial Park, Hurstbourne, Riverport, Rubbertown and surrounding the airport.
Abramson urged motorists to use main roadways as much as possible because most have been treated with a brine solution to prevent ice from binding to the pavement. All of the city’s snow fighting fleet is ready to hit the roads and streets to begin distributing salt as snow and ice begin falling.
Winter weather safety tips
If you are stranded in your vehicle during hazardous winter weather:
- Stay with your vehicle
- Take turns sleeping
- Run the motor every hour for 10 minutes to keep warm
- Keep windows open a little to prevent carbon monoxide buildup
- Make sure the exhaust pipe is not blocked
- Tie a bright cloth to the antenna
- Exercise periodically by vigorously moving your arms, legs, toes and fingers
- Turn on the dome light while the engine is running to aid rescuers at night
- After the snow stops falling, raise the car hood to indicate you need help
A good automobile Winter Safety Kit includes: cell phone and charger, blankets, flashlight and extra batteries, first-aid kit, knife, high-calorie non-perishable food, bottled water, extra clothing to keep dry, large empty can to use as emergency toilet, tissues and paper towels, small can and waterproof matches to melt snow for drinking water, sack of sand or cat litter for traction, shovel, windshield scraper and brush, tool kit, tow rope, battery booster cables, water container, compass and road maps.
Dress for the storm if you must be outdoors during severe winter weather:
- Wear loose, lightweight, warm clothes in layers
- Remove layers to avoid perspiration and subsequent chill
- Outer garments should be tightly woven, water repellent, and hooded.
- Wear a hat -- half your body heat loss can be from the head.
- Cover your mouth to protect your lungs from extreme cold.
- Mittens, snug at the wrist, are better than gloves.
- Try to stay dry
If you are caught outdoors during hazardous winter weather:
- Do not panic
- Find shelter
- Try to stay dry
- Cover all exposed body parts
- Build shelter: a lean-to, windbreak or snow cave for protection from the wind
- Build a fire for heat and to attract attention
- Place rocks around fire to absorb and reflect heat
- Melt snow for drinking water -- eating snow will lower your body temperature
- Avoid overexertion - especially when shoveling or freeing stuck vehicles