With inclement winter weather coming our way this weekend, now is the time to brush up on what each snow emergency level entails.

Level One Alert: Roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow. Roads may also be icy. Motorists are urged to drive cautiously.

Level Two Advisory: Roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow. Roads may also be icy. Only those who feel it is necessary to drive should be out on the roads. Contact your employer to see if you should report to work. Motorists should use extreme caution.

Level Three Emergency (issued by the Athens County Sheriff in collaboration with ODOT, Athens County Engineer, and Township Trustees): All roadways are closed to non-emergency personnel. No one should be driving during these conditions unless it is absolutely necessary to travel, or a personal emergency exists. All employees should contact their employer to see if they should report to work. Those traveling on the roads may subject themselves to arrest.

Snow levels exist for a reason and are issued by Sheriff Smith for the public’s protection. As a rule, drivers should try to avoid traveling on any roadways that haven’t been plowed and/or salted as you are at risk for an accident. The fewer drivers on the road, the safer it will be for emergency personnel and transportation employees responsible for clearing snow and ice.

The Athens County Sheriffs office requests that residents do not private message their Facebook page, contact the Sheriff’s Office or 911 for the most current level, advice or permission to travel. The volume of emergency calls drastically increases during inclement weather.

Use your own judgment based on your driving skills, vehicle, roadway conditions and necessity to travel in order to determine if you should drive during a level.

ACSO most recent Facebook post will reflect the current level (if the post has not been changed, the level has not been changed). For push notifications, please download the Athens County Sheriff’s Office app.

According to the Ohio Department of Aging, older Ohioans should have an emergency plan and kit that will allow them to remain in place for at least three days if they are unable to safely leave their homes. The plan should include the names and phone numbers of people that can be contacted in case of an emergency, a place to go in the event that they are unsafe and a method of getting there.

An emergency kit should include essentials such as a battery-operated radio, flashlight, and extra batteries for both of those items; a loud horn whistle or bell to signal for help; food you can open and prepare easily without electricity; one gallon of water per person, per day; extra blankets; and a first-aid kit. Older adults should include additional items in their kits, such as spare glasses and hearing aid batteries; a backup supply of medications; and non-powered options for assistive and medical equipment that may not work without electricity.

Older Ohioans are also encouraged to ensure assistive devices like canes, walkers and wheelchairs are in good repair and easy to access in an emergency. Have a plan for how to explain to rescue workers how to move you or help you move safely and quickly. Ask a reliable family member, friend, or neighbor to visit or call on you in an emergency and agree on a plan for what they should do if they are unable to reach you or find you needing help.

Older Ohioans can receive a free daily check-in call year-round by enrolling in the Staying Connected Service (www.aging.ohio.gov/stayingconnected).

All Ohioans are encouraged to check in on older loved ones and neighbors before, during, and after severe weather to spot potential issues and help them get assistance if needed.

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