With winter weather now impacting the mountain passes throughout Washington State, first responders are reminding drivers to be prepared before they hit the snowy road.

Mike Battis of Ballard Ambulance in Wenatchee says one of the first items to check off your list is for your car.

"Before you leave, I know gas is expensive and it's a hot topic right now but, have a full tank. Because you could be sitting there at the top of the pass for hours and hours and if you're low on fuel you can't run your heater. Then you'll have a whole other world of problems."

In addition to filling the tank, the Washington State Department of Transportation also recommends making certain your vehicle is equipped for winter road conditions, including tire chains or socks, an ice scraper, jumper cables, and emergency flares.

Battis says another important item that travelers should always have at the ready is one they often don't.

"A general first-aid kit is always a good idea to have. It can be long time before emergency responders can reach you when in these mountain areas, so sometimes giving a little aid is necessary to either yourself or your loved ones or even a stranger who needs assistance."

Battis says it's also important to carry a flashlight and fresh batteries; warm clothing; well-made boots or shoes; gloves or mittens; blankets; and plenty of food and water.

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