Gov. Susana Martinez
- Gov. Martinez Orders Several State Agencies to Monitor, Prepare, Respond to Storm
SANTA FE – Gov. Susana Martinez announced that she has put the New Mexico National Guard on standby to respond to a winter storm that is expected to hit the state through the weekend.
In addition, the Governor ordered the Department of Transportation and the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management to work closely together to monitor, prepare, and respond to the storm to ensure the safety of New Mexicans. The governor also urged New Mexicans to prepare for the storm, which started in areas of the state early Saturday morning.
“We are closely monitoring this winter storm, and we are taking extra precautions as it moves through our state,” Martinez said. “While I’ve asked state agencies to be prepared to respond, I also urge New Mexicans to take measures to stay safe. Be prepared, stay informed, and avoid driving unless it’s absolutely necessary.”
Homeland Security and Emergency Management is also on standby to mobilize if communities are heavily impacted by this storm. In addition, leadership has been in contact with local emergency managers as this storm develops, and will continue to stay in contact as the storm makes its way through New Mexico. The National Guard has units around the state monitoring the situation and will respond if needed.
“We are asking folks to pay attention to the weather, pay attention to the road conditions, and plan ahead to avoid unnecessary risk and take the precautions to keep themselves and their families safe,” DHSEM Secretary Jay Mitchell said.
In addition, the Department of Transportation is working around the clock to clear roads and keep New Mexicans updated on highway conditions.
Conditions are expected to affect multiple areas throughout New Mexico. Expect main highways to be impacted. Due to the higher volume of traffic throughout the Christmas weekend, motorists are urged to take precautions and monitor the weather and road conditions prior to travel. NMDOT provides updates of road conditions at www.NMRoads.com.
“Our crews will be out to clear snow and ice from the roadways to help make travel as safe as possible with the storm that is expected to impact New Mexico,” said NMDOT Secretary Tom Church. “However, we urge New Mexicans to stay off affected roads and travel only if absolutely necessary. And for those who are traveling, we ask that you stay informed of the developing conditions and avoid taking unnecessary risks.”
NMDOT has been prepared for winter weather with patrols, equipment, and winter road materials stationed in strategic locations throughout the state. They have a total of 91 patrols, 411 snow plows, and 77,279 cubic yards of materials on hand to keep New Mexico’s roads clear. NMDOT offers the following recommendations for safe winter driving:
- Know your current road conditions. Visit NMDOTs http://www.NMRoads.com/ website for current road advisory information. You can also obtain that information by dialing 511 in state or 1-800-432-4269 out of state;
- Make sure your vehicle is in good mechanical condition for winter driving conditions;
- Keep as much extra fuel as possible, especially when traveling long distances, to help avoid becoming stranded;
- Don’t take a chance if you break down. Have basic winter supplies in your vehicle such as an emergency kit (spare tire, jumper cables, jack, blanket, flashlight, flares, first-aid kit, and food and water);
- Wear your seatbelt and make sure all passengers also buckle up;
- Be patient. The best accident prevention on snow and ice is to slow down. Allow extra time to get to your destination and leave plenty of room between you and the vehicle in front of you;
- Don’t use cruise control. Using cruise control in the snow, ice or even rain is dangerous because if your vehicle hydroplanes or skids, it can accelerate and spin the wheels, attempting to maintain a constant speed;
- Whenever your visibility is reduced by rain, snow or fog, slow down and turn on your low-beam headlights or fog lights. Using your high beams only makes visibility worse by increasing the glare;
- If you find yourself using the lights of the vehicle in front of you as a guide to stay on the road, it’s time to pull off the road, stop, turn on your emergency flashers and wait until conditions improve; and
- If driving behind a snow plow, please stay behind them by at least 50 feet to help the drivers do their jobs as well as to protect from broken or chipped windshields.
Detailed safety information about preparing for and dealing with winter weather and other weather-related disasters is available online at: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/abq/?n=prepwinterwxawareness and in Spanish at http://www.srh.noaa.gov/abq/?n=prepwinterwx_spanish
Also on the Web: Winter weather and other seasonal outlooks: http://www.cpc.noaa.gov
Weather Preparedness Guide: http://goo.gl/BEawR