DETROIT (WWJ) — Temperatures are expected to plummet as the weekend continues with temperatures feeling like 30 degrees below zero and a Wind Chill Watch in effect.
With icy, brittle road conditions, drivers are being advised to slow down after leaving their driveway. AAA spokesperson Susan Hiltz spoke with WWJ Newsradio 950’s Lauren Barthold about how motorists can stay safe.
“Slow down and keep about two car lengths in front of you and the other car,” Hiltz said. “Just be familiar with your breaking system — if you’ve got anti-lock brakes they’re going to do the pumping for you. If you’ve got manual brakes you’re going to have to do it on your own.”
Hiltz said that while four-wheel drive is good, those vehicles to stop just like any other. She suggests staying home with your significant other on this chilly Valentine’s Day.
“It may be a good time to stay home with your sweetheart instead of getting on the roads,” Hiltz said.
Jennifer Roberts, the Regional Communications Manager for the American Red Cross in Michigan, said that the Red Cross — along with their other emergency partners — are prepared to assist anyone who may be displaced due to a power outage or fire.
“We are monitoring the situation with our emergency management partners and we will support any requests as they arrive,” Roberts said.
Roberts said that there are many situations that could put someone at risk in these conditions.
“A power outage or in the event of a fire, making sure that people are staying warm and have their immediate needs met,” Roberts said.
Being prepared for the cold is half the battle, but the best advise may be to just stay home.
“We recommend that you make sure that you dress in layers and dress appropriate for the weather conditions,” Roberts said. “If you have to be out on the roads, of course be careful and make sure that you have an emergency preparedness kit in your car.
“Stay inside — it’s the weekend. Relax in front of the fire with a blanket and a cup of hot chocolate,” Roberts said.
If you need to be out on the roads, Roberts says it is best to pack an emergency survival kit consisting of a shovel, food, cell phone charger and a blanket.
As the chilling temperatures continue to linger, it’s vital that pets are also taken care of. Ryan McTigue, spokesman for the Humane Society of Michigan, said that owners should limit the amount of time their pets spend outside, and to remember to bring in your outdoor animals.
“Even with proper shelter — which has adequate food and access to clean drinking water — we’re still finding some dogs not making it through the night. We recommend bringing them inside,” McTigue said. “At the very least, you can get a crate and bring them inside and have them in the crate overnight. It really does save a life.”
Even though it’s not against the law in Michigan to have outdoor dogs, McTigue says owners should still find a way to bring them inside during severe winter weather.
“If you do see animals in distress in the city of Detroit, Hamtramck of Highland Park, please call the Michigan Humane Society Rescue Hotline,” McTigue said. “Outside of those cities you want to contact you local animal control or police department right away because it could save a life.”