Winter Travel Reminder
JACKSON COUNTY, Ore. -- Snow fell at higher elevations in Jackson County over the weekend. Forecasters warn of another storm coming through later this week that could cause travel difficulties. Here are some suggestions for staying safe:
* Pay attention to weather updates and be prepared for sudden changes. A good resource is the National Weather Service in Medford - http://www.weather.gov/mfr/.
* If weather and road conditions are expected to be treacherous, just stay home! Don't be on the road unless you absolutely need to be.
* Avoid driving on roads and highways that are notoriously dangerous in winter. Examples are the mountain passes on Interstate 5, Highway 140, and Dead Indian Memorial Road.
* Tell someone where you're going and stick to your planned route.
* Check road conditions before you go. ODOT's TripCheck has updated maps and information at https://tripcheck.com/pages/road-conditions.
* Follow well-traveled roads and highways; don't rely on your GPS to find the best route. Electronic map systems may send you on a backcountry road not intended for through traffic. Many are not maintained and the chance of someone finding you if you are stranded is much lower.
* Stock your vehicle with winter survival gear, just in case: tire chains, blankets, water, food, medications, waterproof boots and gloves. Start your trip with a full tank of gas.
* If you are planning to hike or camp at higher elevations, make sure you have adequate clothing, food, water, and gear. Keep an eye on the weather and have a plan for how you will leave if conditions become dangerous.
* Don't rely on your cell phone! In many of the problem areas, there is no cell phone coverage.
* Think prevention -- rescue crews shouldn't be part of your safety plan. JCSO Search and Rescue will always help in an emergency, but it can take hours for us to respond depending on location, conditions, and call volume. Please keep in mind that our search and rescue teams are made up of volunteers. Every mission takes them away from their families and puts them into dangerous situations.
Be safe out there!