Navajo emergency response on standby
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. - The Navajo Emergency Response Programs and Departments are on stand by status for the weekend due to weather conditions.
The mountain communities on and along the Fort Defiance Plateau, Black Mesa, Navajo Mountain, south of Gallup, Crownpoint area and the Chuska Mountains received deep snow on Thursday. Chapter governments impacted by weather will be assessing conditions and needs in their communities.
Snow plows from the Navajo Department of Transportation (NDOT) will be out, along with BIA and counties to keep transportation routes open. NDOT advises motorist to use caution around heavy equipment and snow plows. Highways are very icy in the morning hours.
Travelers are advised to practice winter preparedness. Vehicles should have emergency kits that include shovels, snow chains, flashlights with batteries, a radio with batteries, operational cell phones with chargers, winter clothing and appropriate shoes, blankets, non-perishable foods including water, phone numbers and medications.
If necessary, travel out of remote areas when the ground is frozen in the early morning and travel back in late in the evening. Undeveloped roads on the Navajo reservation do get muddy as the snow melts.
Winter preparedness should be a family affair. Winter preparedness involves storage of non-perishable foods, water, fuel and firewood. Families with livestock and pets need to include livestock feed, pet food and practice adequate pet care.
Families with high risk individuals need to keep private roads clear. People considered as high risk are the elderly, people who need daily medical care and transport, and people on medications.