Preparing For Snow and Arctic Air

DUNMORE, Pa. -- Inside PennDOT's command center in Dunmore, workers watch the wall of cameras, monitoring road conditions, plow locations, and the changing weather.

"It's where we try to keep our eyes and ears on what's taking place out there and then use that information and relay it to the public," said James May, PennDOT spokesman.

The dangerous cold this week has changed the way PennDOT is tackling things. Salt is not as effective in extreme cold and so crews are clearing roads and treating them with more antiskid material than salt.

They are also warning drivers to make sure their vehicles are prepared for the sub-zero temperatures.

"Keep your fuel over half a tank so you don't have any freeze-up in your tank and you're able to go and in addition check your battery. Make sure your battery is OK," said Christina Sullivan of Lackawanna County Highway Safety.

It is not enough that your vehicle is ready for this arctic air. You have to be prepared in case of an emergency, too.

"Take five minutes, get yourself a tote bag, put in some provisions, put in a dry set of clothing, an extra pair of socks, a hat, gloves, hand warmers, blankets, couple bottle of waters, small bags of protein snacks," said Kathryn Bommer of Geisinger Community Medical Center.

Bommer is a nurse and educator and said if you happen to become stranded in this bitter cold that bag could save your life.

Her general advice: Don't leave your vehicle.

She said skin can freeze in a matter of moments when it's below zero.

And make sure you have a cell phone charger so you can call for help.

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