URGENT COLD WEATHER ALERT
AAA Preparing to Respond to Spike in EMERGENCY Calls
Reminding ALL DRIVERS (Not Just Travelers) to Prepare as Well
Drivers across Connecticut have already seen how a ‘perfect storm’ of conditions can dramatically disrupt traffic and travel plans and now, there is another ‘perfect storm’ in the making in advance of the Thanksgiving holiday.
AAA is warning motorists that the extreme cold coming in, the record number of drivers on the road and also the number of vehicles that will be sitting idle for days, will result in thousands of drivers – and their passengers – being stranded in extremely dangerous conditions.
“Breaking down in the extreme cold is not just an inconvenience, it’s an emergency”, says Amy Parmenter, spokesperson for AAA in Greater Hartford. “It is critical that all drivers plan accordingly to protect themselves and their passengers”.
AAA is expecting hundreds of dead battery calls, not just on Thanksgiving, but also in the days that follow as people try to start vehicles that have been sitting idle in the cold. This includes not just those driving to their holiday destinations but also flyers who will be returning to Bradley, where their vehicles have been sitting in the cold for days.
“Last year over the Thanksgiving holiday, AAA responded to almost 1000 calls for dead batteries – just in the Greater Hartford area alone and, chances are none of them actually expected to break down. There’s no doubt, given the weather, we will be even busier than that this year”, Parmenter says.
With that in mind, AAA will be increasing the number of battery trucks on the road, ready to respond to members as quickly and safely as possible.
WHO ARE YOU GOING TO CALL?
Friends and family members who might typically be available to help in the event of a breakdown may be away or otherwise obligated over the holiday.
AAA is encouraging everyone to make sure their AAA memberships are up to date and to have their AAA cards with them or the AAA help number and their AAA membership number programmed into their phones. In extreme conditions, every minute counts.
IT’S NOT JUST ‘TRAVELERS’ AT RISK
Even those who are not traveling for the holiday, those who are just driving across town, driving to the mall for Black Friday or driving to the gym -- ALL motorists are at risk of a breakdown and AAA is urging that they dress and plan accordingly.
PREPARE, PREPARE, PREPARE
- Check your battery TODAY: Most batteries in New England last just 3-5 years. Have a trusted mechanic check your battery BEFORE hitting the road
- Dress appropriately – A breakdown can occur whether you’re going 1 mile or 100 milles. Dress as though you will be out in the cold for an extended period of time
- Slow Down – Last year, over the Thanksgiving holiday, AAA Greater Hartford responded to more than 400 people who had locked themselves out of their vehicles. Slowing down can actually save you time!
- Gas Up – AAA is regularly called upon by members who have run out of gas. Especially with the risk of lengthy traffic delays over a holiday weekend, make sure you hit the road with a full tank.
- Pack a Winter Emergency Kit – AAA recommends cellphone charger, snowbrush/scraper, de-icer, kitty litter, flashlight with fresh batteries, flares or high visibility triangle, jumper cables, blankets, extra coats and gloves, water, snacks and extra medications.
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