Safety info – Tips from Sgt. J-Ross

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt February 11, 2014
Decatur Police Sgt. Jennifer Ross, holding a picture of her father. Photo by: Dan Whisenhunt

Decatur Police Sgt. Jennifer Ross, holding a picture of her father. Photo by: Dan Whisenhunt

Sgt. Jennifer Ross with Decatur Police sent along some info from the Atlanta Police Foundation to help you ride out this ice storm that’s about to hit.

According to the Police, you should: 

– Not drive. But

– If you do drive, you should drive slowly and leave three times the usual amount of space between you and the person ahead of you.

– Brake gently to decrease the chances of skidding. If your wheels do lock up, let off the brakes.

– Keep the headlights on.

– Drive in a lower gear to get more traction, particularly useful when driving on hills.

– Don’t turn on the cruise control or overdrive.

So what do you do if your car starts skidding? 

If it’s your front wheels, you should…

– Let off the gas and put the car in neutral, but don’t try steering immediately.

– When the wheels skid sideways, they will slow down the car and start to regain some traction. When it does this, gently steer it in the direction that you’d like to go.

If it’s your back wheels, you should…

– Take your foot off the gas.

– Steer gently in the direction you want to go.

– If your back wheels begin sliding the other way as you recover, ease the steering wheel toward that side. “You may have to steer left and right again several times to get your vehicle under control,” the tip sheet says.

– If you’re using standard brakes, pump gently.

– If you have anti-lock brakes, don’t pump them. Push down steadily and you’ll feel a gentle pulsing. (They say this is normal.)

What do you need in your winter survival kit? (Editor’s note: Since the storm is approaching and driving conditions are becoming unsafe, I encourage you to just check through this list to see how smart you are.) 

– Non perishable food items, like bread, cereal, dried fruits and nuts. Be sure to keep some baby food if you’ve got young children at home.

– Five gallons of clean water per person.

– All your medications and a cooler if you need to keep your meds cold.

– A first aid kit.

– Battery-powered flashlights or lanterns.

– Blankets

– A non-electric can opener.

– A snow shovel.

– Rock salt or cat litter.

What do I do if the power goes out?

– Don’t go near downed power lines. (Editor’s note: I assume they included this for people from Alabama. I feel so loved.) 

– Never pull branches or other debris off a power line.

– Don’t touch anything touching a power line.

– Don’t leave lit candles unattended.

– Keep refrigerator and freezer doors shut. It can keep food cold up to 24 hours.

– If your food has been kept above 40 degrees for more than two hours, or if it has an unusual color, odor, or texture, throw it away. (Editor’s note: That’s probably good advice even when there isn’t an ice storm headed our way.)

– Turn off appliances that were on when the power went out. You don’t want them coming back on while you’re asleep and burning your house down.

– Unplug all of your electronics, TVs, computers, etc., so the power doesn’t damage them when it comes back on.

Our first responders are going to be busy in the next few days trying to save us from ourselves. Thanks to Sgt. Ross and the Atlanta Police Foundation.  Good luck to our first responders, and stay safe.

About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of

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