Experts advise extra caution during Winter weather

BIRMINGHAM,  AL (WBRC) – As of noon on Thursday, roadway conditions were fine, but many experts are saying that Alabamians should take extra caution for the upcoming Winter weather.

AAA of Alabama urges that the best course of action during freezing conditions is to stay at home with heat and supplies. Unfortunately, not everyone can take this advice.

If heading out in the weather, AAA suggests you watch out for ice patches and slow down.  If you find yourself sliding on ice, there is not much you can do to immediately stop the skid. Clay Ingram with AAA Alabama says you should take your foot off the accelerator and try to turn with the skid. Hopefully you can regain control. Hitting the gas could cause you to make your skid worse.

Another overlooked possibility during Winter weather is that you might find yourself stranded after sliding into a ditch or having car trouble. Ingram says that having emergency supplies could be essential. "Have some things like an extra jacket, blanket, gloves, bottled water, snacks, a tool kit, flashlight, duct tape and even jumper cables just in case you do find yourself stuck," says Ingram. "Also have a full tank of gas in case you need to run the heater to stay warm.

AAA of Alabama also says that you should not follow others closely.  Give yourself 8-10 seconds of time between vehicles. Acceleration and deceleration should be as slow as possible to prevent slipping. AAA adds that you should not stop if you can avoid it, as it is hard to get going out of a pile of snow.

In case you find yourself in a situation where you will not be able to get proper heat, several warming stations have opened to the public to help those in need of a warm place to stay. Any of these stations are willing to help to keep you warm:

-The Boutwell Auditorium in Birmingham.

-Moody United Methodist Church

-the First Baptist Church in Pell City

-the Springville First United Methodist Church

-the World Outreach Community Center in Oneonta

-Steele United Methodist

-Kimberly Community Center

-the Locust Fork Baptist Church

-The Bessemer Civic Center: It will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner.

-Restoration Christian Ministries in Eastlake

-Salem Baptist in Bessemer