NORTH COUNTRY, N.Y. (WWTI) — First responders are preparing for the upcoming storm and forecasted blizzard conditions on the way for the North Country.

New York State Troopers said they will be checking major travel routes to make sure motorists are as safe as possible.

Travel conditions are expected to be extremely dangerous on Friday and Saturday due to extreme winds, whiteout conditions and cold temperatures. New York State Police is advising motorists to only drive for emergency purposes.

Police say that if you do drive, make sure you have a full tank of gas, food and extra warming items in your vehicle in case emergency vehicles have a delayed response due to the pending storm. Police say it’s important to remember that if you cannot see out of your windshield, first responders can’t either.

Police offer the following tips in order to prepare for the storm and stay safe:

  • get the latest weather forecast before leaving;
  • always clean your windows and mirrors fully of any snow and ice before driving;
  • keep a full tank of gas;
  • make sure windshield washer and anti-freeze fluid levels are sufficient;
  • be sure the spare tire is sufficient and you have the jack and wheel wrench;
  • use headlights at all times to increase your visibility to others (if your windshield wipers are in use due to weather, then your headlights must be on);
  • drive prudently, decrease your speed according to the weather conditions;
  • brake early;
  • don’t use cruise control because it decreases your reaction time to apply braking;
  • look out for events farther down the road, allowing yourself more time to react;
  • be aware of maintenance vehicles and emergency vehicles and give them room to work; and
  • don’t go out on the roads unless you absolutely have to.

If you do go out, is your vehicle prepared? 

Is your trunk supplied to help you to be safe in case you are stopped or stranded in an area without assistance readily available?

You should be sure to have the following items:

  • gloves;
  • blankets;
  • warmers;
  • tool kit;
  • first-aid kit;
  • non-perishable foods;
  • water;
  • working flashlight and batteries;
  • cell phone charger;
  • shovel;
  • ice scraper;
  • de-icer;
  • snow brush;
  • rock salt or cat litter;
  • tow chain or cable; and
  • jumper cables or a battery charger.

If you are involved in a collision or leave the roadway

If you drive off the road and are stuck in a snowbank or ditch, police say you should stay in your vehicle and call 911.  Do not exit your vehicle unless it is an absolute emergency.  You put yourself at risk of being struck by another vehicle.

Police say to roll your windows down a few inches or turn your vehicle off if you are stranded in snow for a period of time with your vehicle running. Tailpipes can become blocked by deep snow and cause carbon monoxide to build up inside the car and can lead to serious physical injury or death  

If you become stranded on the Thruway or any roadway, police say you should know your location by being aware of your direction and milepost marker to help emergency personnel reach your location as quickly as possible. 

The New York State Police posts up-to-date informationg regarding road closures on the organization’s Twitter page.