PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — After Southern New England’s first snowfall of the season, the Red Cross is reminding residents of steps that can be taken to stay safe this winter.

Drivers should stay off the road if possible during snowstorms and severe weather, but if they must travel, they should:

  • Keep a windshield scraper and emergency supply kit in their car
  • Keep their gas tank full to prevent the fuel line from freezing
  • Keep their distance when traveling behind other vehicles, as it is more challenging to stop
  • Refrain from using cruise control on slippery roads
  • Refrain from passing snow plows

If a driver becomes stranded in a snowstorm, the Red Cross recommends staying inside the vehicle to wait for help. They should take steps to be visible, such as turning on hazard lights and keeping the overhead light on. They should also keep the vehicle’s engine running for at least 10 minutes every hour.

When spending long periods of time outdoors, residents are reminded to wear warm layers of clothing and monitor for signs of frostbite. They should also be extra cautious when walking on icy surfaces.

The Red Cross also recommends staying indoors during severe storms and taking steps to keep their homes warm, such as weather-stopping doors and windows to keep cold air out and making sure there’s enough heating fuel in advance.

Residents should also take measures to prevent their pipes from freezing. For more information on best practices, visit the Red Cross’s website.