GREENFIELD — Although Hancock County was spared the brunt of the weekend’s winter storm, the area remained under a travel advisory Monday morning.
Authorities reminded residents that traveling with caution should always be a top priority.
The Department of Homeland Security has a travel map that gives motorists a good indicator of whether roads are safe throughout Indiana through the use of a color code. It can be accessed at in.gov/dhs/traveladvisory/.
Here’s what you need to know about using the map to help keep you and your family safe:
Who provides travel information for each county?
Travel status information is provided by each county’s emergency management agency. Locally, the county’s travel status is decided by a group of agencies, including the county commissioners, emergency management and the sheriff’s department.
What are the different levels of advisory?
There are three levels: advisory, watch and warning.
Advisory is the lowest level of local travel advisory and is indicated by the color yellow. It means routine travel or activities might be restricted throughout the county because of a hazardous weather situation. When an advisory is issued, individuals should use caution and avoid areas that are restricted. Hancock County Emergency Management Director Misty Moore said an advisory is issued any time a road in the county is hazardous.
A watch is issued when conditions are a threat to the safety of the public. Only essential travel (travel to and from work or in emergency situations) is recommended. If a county is under a travel watch, it will be orange on the map.
During a warning — the highest level of local travel advisory — travel might be restricted to emergency management workers only. Residents are directed to refrain from all travel for their safety. A warning is indicated by the color red.
What if I’m already on the road?
There’s an app available to access the state’s travel map if you’re already en route to your destination. It can be downloaded for iPhones in the App Store or for Android in the Google Play store. And it’s free.
Compiled by Samm Quinn
Sources: Department of Homeland Security, Hancock County Emergency Management