Steamboat briefs: Motorists reminded to prepare vehicles for inclement weather

— As part of Colorado Winter Weather Awareness Week, which ends Saturday, the Colorado Department of Transportation and Colorado Office of Emergency Management are offering tips on getting vehicles prepared for inclement weather.

Drivers should carry an emergency kit in their cars. If you find yourself stranded, stay in your vehicle, turn on your flashers, call for help and wait until it arrives. Your emergency kit should include the following:

■ Flares/reflectors to signal for help and warn other motorists.

■ Sturdy scraper or snow shovel to clear snow.

■ Battery or crank-powered radio to listen to emergency broadcasts.

■ Flashlight with extra batteries or crank-powered flashlight.

■ Survival blanket or sleeping bag.

■ Chemical hand warmers.

■ Extra set of clothes, including coat, hat, mittens, boots, etc.

■ Water for each person and pet in your car.

■ Food items containing protein such as nuts and energy bars, canned fruit and a portable can opener.

■ First aid kit and essential medications.

■ Tire chains and tow strap.

■ Nonclumping kitty litter/sand for traction.

■ Jumper cables.

■ Extra cloth or paper towels for cleanup if necessary.

■ Deck of cards or board game for entertainment.

In addition to an emergency kit, drivers should check the following items on their cars before road trips: windshield wiper fluid, heater/defroster, wiper blades, antifreeze, lights, gas, ignition, exhaust system, tire tread, battery and brakes.

Motorists also are encouraged to plan ahead when traveling by calling 511 or visiting www.cotrip.org for real-time road information. Winter weather awareness information and updates are also posted by the Office of Emergency Management at www.coemergency.com or on Twitter at COEmergency using the #COwx hashtag.

Concordia Lutheran Church collects boxes for holidays

As part of Operation Christmas Child, Concordia Lutheran Church is collecting shoe boxes filled with gifts including school supplies, toys, necessity items and notes of encouragement. Those who would like to participate are asked to fill a shoebox, or pick up at the church a box to fill, and drop it off at the church by 5 p.m. Nov. 17, 755 Concordia Lane, with a $7 check to cover shipping. Find step-by-step instructions for filling your box at www.samaritanspurse.org/OCC. For more information, call 970-879-0175 or Marvin Lindsey at 970-871-4770.

Yampa Arts & Craft Fair applications due Saturday

The Yampa Arts & Craft Fair is accepting booth applications through Saturday. The 32nd annual craft fair is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 17 at Soroco Elementary School in Yampa. For an application and more information, call Nita at 970-638-0452 and leave a message with your name, phone number and email. The fair is sponsored by Edith Chapter No. 61, Order of the Eastern Star, and offers booths for $14. Proceeds support the craft fair and community service projects.

Risotto cooking class is Saturday at City Cafe

The “Global Cooking Series” continues with a “Clean Yer Fridge Risotto” cooking class from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday at City Cafe. Participants are asked to bring one ingredient from their refrigerator to incorporate into this meal. A friendly competition and prizes will be involved. Call 970-846-1135 to register for the $25 class.  

Number of pertussis cases in Colorado reaches 1,026

With 1,026 cases and counting, Colorado’s pertussis (whooping cough) epidemic has topped the 1,000 case mark, state health officials confirmed Tuesday, according to a news release.

“Whooping cough cases continue to mount in Colorado, and every new case is a reminder that we need to ensure everyone is up to date on their whooping cough immunizations,” Dr. Rachel Herlihy, director of the Immunization Section at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, said in the release.

Denver (165), Jefferson (154), Adams (151), Arapahoe (128) and Boulder (121) counties had the most whooping cough cases, according to the release. The case counts are from Jan. 1 through Oct. 6, 2012.

This is the worst year in Colorado for whooping cough since 2005, when the state had 1,383 cases. During the past five years, Colorado has averaged 324 cases per year.

The Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association and most primary care providers have flu and pertussis vaccines available. Adults are recommended to receive the whooping cough booster vaccine. For more information, visit www.nwcovna.org or call 970-871-7624.

Watch a story about a local family’s battle with pertussis at www.nwcovna.org/stories.php.

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