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Richmond, VA — With cold temperatures now hitting most of the country, as well as right here in Richmond, VA, make sure that you are prepared for the unexpected.

Take a look at the following checklist, courtesy of AAA, to use before a storm hits:

Make sure your car’s gas tank is full. Service stations may not have power to run their pumps.

Clean your windshield clean and  test your wipers.

Properly inflate your tires.

Check that all lights are working properly.

Have an emergency road kit in your trunk, including a flashlight, batteries, reflective triangles, fire extinguisher, jumper cables; first aid kit, jack and spare tire, rain gear or extra clothing, and a pocket knife.

“As the Snow Storm of 2013 crashes into our region, driving can very quickly become hazardous,” said Meade. “Heavy rain, high winds, and standing water on roads create some of the worst driving conditions, largely because unlike snow, drivers cannot see it as readily.”

Once the storm hits, you’ll want to be sure to stay off the roads.

If you have to be out there, follow these guidelines:

Follow road closure signs and emergency warnings. Don not drive on closed roads.

Turn on your wipers and headlights at the first sign of rain. Virginia law dictates that headlights must be on when your wipers are on due to inclement weather.

If windows begin to fog, turn on the car’s defroster.

Use low-beam headlights to help other drivers see your car and increase visibility.

Slow down. Rain decreases visibility and increases braking distances.

Don’t follow too close. Increase your following distance to 8 seconds or more.

Train your eyes farther down the road than normal.

Driving in other vehicle’s tracks can improve traction and help you avoid hydroplaning.

Be wary of high wind conditions. Larger trucks are more affected by high winds, so give them plenty of room on the roadways.

Watch out for debris or downed wires on the roadways.

Do not attempt to cross any standing water on the road. Just six inches can make you lose control of your car. Two feet of water will carry away most cars.

Courtesty of

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