Winter weather is hard to predict at Fort Campbell. With the occasional surprise snowstorm and icy road conditions, the weather at the Kentucky-Tennessee border can catch people off guard.
To stay safe out on the roads and at home, James Legaspi, 3rd Brigade Combat Team safety officer, offers some tips on how to best prepare yourself and your Family for the season ahead. He divides his advice between tactical decisions made by leadership, and personal decisions you can take to keep safe.
“We’ve been pretty lucky so far,” Legaspi said. “So hopefully it stays pretty mild like this. But we need to always be prepared.”
Start by identifying the hazards. Cold weather, wet conditions, ice and snow can all cause safety issues if not properly spotted. These conditions need to be factored in to a unit’s planning when out in the field. Even when off duty, cold weather injuries and accidents can happen if you are not being careful or not paying attention. Staying informed about the changing weather conditions is key.
Next is preparing Soldiers for dealing with hazards as they arise. Ensure that your Soldiers can identify cold weather injuries and know how to treat them. Leaders should ensure Soldiers a have the cold weather gear they need before heading out on missions. Stay abreast of weather forecasts and emergency notices to remain informed about changing weather conditions.
When it comes to the roads, drivers in military vehicles are required to take winter driving safety classes, along with a check ride to ensure they know how to handle slick or icy conditions. For personal vehicles, the best prevention is preparation.
Icy road conditions can happen quickly, causing a major hazard for drivers. If you have to drive in icy conditions, remember to take it slow, avoid sudden movements on the steering wheel and to keep your tires and breaks in good condition to avoid accidents.
Drivers should be aware of ice on top of their cars and remove as much of it as possible before getting on the road. Melting sheets of ice can slide off a car when it is in motion and can damage other cars on the road.
Planning your route, taking time to start your car early to defrost your windshield, ensuring your tires and brakes are in working order and driving carefully in icy conditions can keep everyone safe.