At the end of each week, we post a "What We’re Watching" blog as we look ahead to the weekend and recap events from the week. We encourage you to share it with your friends and family, and have a safe weekend.
Today officially marks the beginning of winter, but cold, snowy, and icy conditions have already been felt by millions around the U.S. Across much of the Midwest, a winter storm is bringing snow and ice that may cause headaches for those taveling over the weekend for the holidays. As the map below from the National Weather Service shows, there are a lot of winter weather watches and warnings across the country, so make sure you keep up with your local forecast at www.weather.gov or mobile.weather.gov on your phone.
And if you’re looking for ways you can stay safe before, during, and after winter storms, visit Ready.gov on your computer or mobile phone.
CAPTION: Map from the U.S. National Weather Service showing current severe weather advisories, watches, and warnings. This map is automatically updated by the National Weather Service.
Safe Holiday Travel
As it is every year, holiday travelers will inevitably take to the skies, railroads, and roads to visit with loved ones this weekend and next week. So here are some holiday travel tips to keep in mind, no matter your mode of transportation:
If you’re taking to the friendly skies:
- When getting to the airport, unanticipated heavy traffic, road construction, and road closures can put a severe kink in your plan. Give yourself enough time to arrive at the airport early - there may be a longer wait than usual for the holidays.
- Make a choice to not feel rushed while at the airport. Families and individuals traveling with medically necessary liquids this holiday season will be able to take advantage of TSA’s popular family lanes. Designed to let families take their time and ask questions without feeling rushed.
- In this TSA blog post, they cover lots of holiday travel reminders and provide great tips for traveling this holiday season, including what to expect with wrapped packages; whether or not pies are allowed (along with this important note: additional screening of pies does not include TSA officers tasting the pie, no matter what they tell you… AND if you want to bring a live turkey, you might want to have a word with the airline first); and information on the type of razors that are allowed and how to pack makeup.
If you’re traveling by train:
- Have a personal emergency kit in your bags that includes items such as a small first aid kit, bottled water, snacks, medication, cell phone charger, and a flashlight.
- Bring activities to keep yourself and family entertained during the trip.
And for those of you who are hitting the open road:
- Mother nature has a way of closing down and clogging the roads during severe weather. So besides the holiday gifts and goodies you transport this holiday season, be sure to have an emergency kit in your car with water and food, prescription medicines, blankets, and items unique to your family.
- Plan your trip ahead of time - whether you’re using a GPS system or a traditional map, plan your travel route in advance, and let friends and family know the route and your anticipated time of arrival.
- Cut down on the number of times you hear “Are we there yet?” Bring activities, games, and books to keep the little ones entertained so you can focus on arriving at your destination safely.
No matter how you are traveling, stay up to date on the latest local forecast at www.weather.gov or mobile.weather.gov. For more information from TSA on your phone, download the TSA App for iPhone and visit www.tsa.gov/mobile.
Have a great, safe weekend!