When You're About to Move

by Vicki Simons

Is weather an important factor when moving?

TIP: Because travel can be impeded by severe weather, plan to continually check weather reports before and during moves. Greater risk is involved when traveling through and to certain parts of the U.S. during certain times of the year. Drivers need to be well-rested so they can be alert to sudden changes in road conditions, and to seek shelter in dangerous situations.

The snow, ice, and blizzards accompanying winter storms occasionally force closure of some interstate highways. (Those who violate highway closings are fined.) Although some roads may remain open and passable, state Departments of Transportation have a right to enforce "chain laws" on vehicles traversing them (particularly during certain months of the year). These laws require tire chains to be carried by -- or actually mounted on the tires of -- some or all of the vehicles using the road. Even though roads may be covered with only a small amount of precipitation, they can still be hazardous (especially when temperatures drop quickly). Be prepared to allow extra time to arrive at your destination, and extra room on the road for other drivers who don't know the proper driving techniques required in emergency situations.

Spring rains and flash floods can cover or wash away roads and bridges. Even dry areas are susceptible to floods, if they are downhill from an area which has received a large amount of precipitation.

High summer temperatures -- especially in the southwestern states -- can lead to engine overheating and tire blowouts. If you are traveling in your own vehicle, keep a couple of gallons of bottled water, a good spare tire, and tire changing equipment with you at all times. Traveling during the summer may be more pleasant at night, when temperatures are cooler.

Free weather condition information is available 24 hours per day on weather radio and local and national radio broadcasts. Travel advisories can be accessed on the Internet through these resources:

National Weather Service's Interactive Weather Information Network http://iwin.nws.noaa.gov/iwin/main.html
National Weather Service's Winter Storm Warnings http://iwin.nws.noaa.gov/iwin/us/winterstorm.html

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