RICHMOND (WRIC)—For Tuesday's major snow storm, VDOT says crews are currently treating interstates and primary roads with anti-icing chemicals. But they say come the overnight hours, preparations will intensify.
"We're got crews reporting later this evening and overnight," VDOT Spokesperson Lindsay LeGrand said Monday. "We will be applying a pretreatment to the roadways, a salt and water brine solution to help keep the precipitation from bonding and icing over with the pavement."
VDOT says it is in full preparation mode to keep people safe. VDOT says pretreatment is the first step to combat slick road conditions, but in some areas that might not be possible
"For the northern part of our Richmond district area, we are able to pre-treat the roads," LeGrand says. "Unfortunately, in the southern part we may not be able to; it may start off as a rain event in the south, but it will quickly turn over to snow, so we will be able to put salt and sand down prevent any hazardous road conditions."
Once roads do start to become snow covered, or icy, VDOT asks drivers to stay off the roads if at all possible. But, if you do have to venture out, be cautious when around work trucks on the road.
"We do ask that you keep as much distance between your car and any other car, especially snow plows. Once we see accumulation of 1-2 inches at the least, snow plows will start to go out and it actually helps them a lot if you are able to keep a safe distance."
VDOT also reminds people to check www.511Virginia.org before you head out once the snow starts falling.
Hardware stores were packed all day Monday with folks getting last-minute items.
People have also been flocking to grocery stores and hardware stores to scoop up last-minute items in preparation.
Pleasant's Hardware manager Aaron Spencer says often during snow storms like this people wait until it's almost too late to begin shopping for snow supplies like salt and deicer for car windshields.
"Usually we see an increase of about 20-30 percent than what we are used to seeing, people just bring prepared," he says. "Ice melt, snow shovels and that's pretty much it. And then the cold weather supplies, such as gloves."
Spencer says it's important to plan ahead and go ahead and buy scrapers and shovels before the snow storm gets here, because once the storm hits, the items become very hard to find.
Meanwhile, AAA is reminding drivers to be prepared before the storm even gets here, by having an emergency kit in their cars.
"[An] emergency kit can help you, whether you are broken down, or if you get in a situation where maybe you are stuck in the snow," says AAA spokesperson Tammy Gobert. "There are some items you can have, be prepared with and help you get out of a jam."
Gobert says many of the things in your emergency kit are likely things you already have.
"A charged cell phone … that way you can call for assistance when necessary … a shovel."
Other items include a flashlight, ice scraper, paper towels, a blanket and something else you may not have thought of.
"A lot of people don't think about it, but you can get kitty litter, and that actually helps with traction when you are stuck in the snow," Gobert said.
And if you are broken down on the side of the road during inclement weather, reflective devices can keep you safe.
"Reflective devices are also something nice to have," Gobert said. "What you want to do is take it about 10 feet away from the vehicle and put it to the left of the shoulder, that way it alerts motorists there is a disabled vehicle on the side of the road."
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