The forecast is in…and it’s not pretty. Heavy winds and rain are headed our way, Washingtonians.

A series of powerful storms (three to be exact) are expected to hit western Washington Wednesday night, October 12, 2016, and last through the weekend; bringing strong winds, heavy rain, power outages, and possible coastal flooding with it.

If you’re planning to travel over the weekend, please be aware that driving conditions will be severe. While troopers will be out on the roads to help keep you safe, there are some things you can do to help get ready for your weekend travels.

First Things First: Prepare

First, be prepared. Let someone know your destination, your route, and expected time of arrival. Also, be sure to carry an emergency and disaster supply kit in your car (that includes snacks, water, a first aid kit, flashlight, batteries, etc.).

Before taking off, make sure your vehicle’s tank is full, and clean the lights and windows to help you see. It also never hurts to make sure your tires are in good shape and your windshield wiper blades are functioning properly.

Remember

  • If the weather is not ideal, stay off the roadways if you can.
  • If you do have to travel, give yourself plenty of time to arrive at your destination safely.
  • Reduce your speed. Speed limits are set for ideal conditions.
  • Increase your following distance.
  • To be seen better, use your headlights.
  • Give other vehicles more space, especially larger vehicles as they are more affected by strong wind than smaller ones.

If You Are Involved in a Collision

  • Call 911.
  • Activate your hazard lights and if possible, drive your vehicle as far off of the roadway as possible while remaining on level ground.
  • If your vehicle is inoperable, activate your hazards and wait for law enforcement and first responders to arrive. If you are concerned about your safety and think your vehicle might get struck from behind, get out of your vehicle and move away from the road to a safer location. This is only recommended as a last resort.

If You Witness a Collision

  • Call 911 and be prepared to answer questions regarding the details of the collision.
  • If you stop to help, pull your vehicle off of the roadway and activate your hazards.
  • Do not park where a car could slide into you or your vehicle.
  • If you stop to help the injured, do not put yourself in danger. Things can happen quickly and other vehicles may not see you. Weather and poor road conditions can compound the problem.
  • You may further injure someone involved in the collision. If there is no immediate need for the occupants to be removed do not remove them.