The winter air is here as we begin December with cold weather. There are a few things that happen this time of year that we can expect to impact us in our daily business.

Icy/wet driving conditions:

n When our temperatures drop expect some of our local roads to get slippery with ice and frost.

n If you have to scrape your windshield to get the ice off, expect the roads to have some of that ice on them as well.

n If the weather is going to give you a longer commute to work or require more time to run errands, give yourself more time to get there safely. Give an additional 30 minutes to your commute time.

n If you drive into a patch of ice, let off the accelerator and avoid hitting the brakes to avoid sliding.

n Expand your following distance behind vehicles in front of you.

Flood season:

n If you live in a known flooding location, take precautions now to minimize risk to yourself and your animals.

n Park your vehicles on higher ground if possible. Move your animal houses to higher ground.

n Consider moving valuable items to a higher location in your home.

n If you come upon a road closed sign, please do not drive around or attempt to drive through the flooded road.

Every year that we have floods, vehicles drive around the road closed signs and get stuck in the middle of the road flooded with water.

Damage to your vehicle occurs and you are in danger because of the flooded road.

Many times we have had to call out our search and rescue dive teams to come in to assist with motorists trapped in cars on flooded roads that could also have very fast moving water.

This is not safe for you, your passengers and for the people coming in to help.

Winter traveling tips:

n Be sure to pack extra clothes in your vehicle when traveling.

n Put together a basic kit including a pair of gloves, boots, blanket and jumper cables.

n Pack water and food in case you get caught in a snow storm on a pass and the pass closes. Take extra gas if you can store it and travel safely with it.

n Have your tires checked to ensure they are adequate for winter driving.

n Having some kitty litter comes in handy for traction if you get stuck in the snow and ice.

n Bring a car charger so you can keep your phone charged.

— Chad Clark is undersheriff for the Skagit County Sheriff’s Office. Send questions to askpatrolchief@gmail.com.

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