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HOMELAND SECURITY ISSUES ADVISORY: State officials remind Hoosiers to travel safely

December 23, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS – As hundreds of thousands of Hoosiers hit the road for the holidays, the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS), Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) and Indiana State Police (ISP) are reminding motorists to plan ahead and check on road conditions before heading out.
Before leaving home
•Find out about the driving conditions and pay attention to weather reports on the radio. Review the Indiana travel advisory map at GetPrepared.in.gov for updated travel restrictions in your area. Visit TrafficWise.in.gov or call 800-261-ROAD (800-261-7623) for the latest information on road closures.
Let family and friends know your itinerary—travel routes, where you will be staying, expected dates of departure and return, and how to reach you.
•Pack essential items such as high protein snacks, water, first aid kit, flashlight, warm blankets or sleeping bags, small battery-operated radio, an emergency contact card with names and phone numbers, extra prescription medications and important documents or information you might need during an emergency.
Safety on the road
Obey all traffic laws and police officers.
Be aware of any differences in traffic laws in unfamiliar areas.
Watch for construction zones and drive carefully in these areas.
Move over or slow down when passing stopped emergency vehicles.
Don’t allow children under the age of 12 to ride in the front seat with air bags.
All passengers should wear seatbelts and children should be restrained in properly-sized car seats or booster seats.
Never drink alcohol and drive.
Take frequent rests to avoid becoming drowsy. Driving sleepy is almost as dangerous as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Avoid talking or texting on cell phones while driving.
The Indiana State Fire Marshal’s Office, a division of IDHS, also reminds travelers to be aware of their surroundings when sleeping at hotels, inns, or motels.
Hotel fire safety
Choose a hotel/motel that is protected by both smoke alarms and a fire sprinkler system.
When you enter your room, review the escape plan posted in your room.
Take the time to find the exits and count the number of doors between your room and the exit. Make sure the exits are unlocked. If they are locked, report it to management.
If the alarm sounds, leave right away, closing all doors behind you. Always use the stairs, never the elevator, during a fire.
If you must escape through smoke, get low and go under the smoke to your exit.
For more information about safety while traveling, visit GetPrepared.in.gov.

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