November 14-18 is Snow Squall Awareness Week, so now is the time to make sure you know what to do in case you’re caught in one.
According to the National Weather Service, a snow squall is a brief, but intense period of heavy snow and wind causing whiteout conditions, which makes driving very dangerous.
“Snow squalls happen fairly quickly and can reduce visibility down to a quarter mile or less. Flash freezing can occur as well so the roadways can become extremely slippery fast,” said Joel Landis, Director of Emergency Services, Somerset County.
Here’s what you should do if you’re caught on a highway.
“If you encounter a snow squall you want to immediately slow your speed. You want to make sure you pace yourself, have adequate distance between the vehicle you’re following and your vehicle. You want to immediately try to exit the highway as soon as you can and find a parking area,”
Avoid slamming on your breaks and try to stay off of the highway until the squall has passed, but if you can’t exit the highway…
“You’re going to want to make sure you slow your speed down, activate your hazard warning lights and make sure your headlights are on,” said Landis.
Even though snow squalls come on suddenly, there are ways you can be ready for when one does occur. You can keep an emergency kit in your car just in case you are stuck on a highway, and you can sign up for weather alerts.
“If you want to be situationally ready before a weather event occurs you can sign up for our mass notification system called code red,”