Kinnaird and other road workers spread salt on the roads, heavily on the intersection, and often put gravel with the salt on the roads it to get more traction.
"That gives you traction until it has time to melt, and the gravel will stick in the ice so you can just go on," he said.
He said Ky. 52 east of Lancaster is fairly safe but people have to be especially careful in extreme storms between Danville and Lancaster, with winding curves and narrow sections.
The Garrard County Emergency Medical Services department has several crucial pieces of equipment to deal with these conditions, including two four-wheel-drive jeeps, chains for their trucks to help obtain traction, intravenous fluid warmers and a Sked, a plastic backboard mobilization device used as a stretcher to carry patients in difficult conditions. The warmers can raise body temperatures in severe cases of hypothermia.
Arnold stressed that the fire department is a valuable resource during hazardous weather conditions.
"Not only do we depend on them in extreme conditions, but we call them out any time we have a serious call and need extra manpower," he said.
He noted that the EMS has provided an automatic external defibrillator in each fire truck so that, if firefighters get to a scene before the EMS, they "can shock somebody if they need to and maybe save a life."
Arnold said none of the wrecks on Dec. 23 were life-threatening, but several people had broken bones, meaning use of the Sked was necessary, and firefighters assisted to move those injured more efficiently from their vehicles.
David East, the public information officer for the Garrard Emergency Management Agency, which deals with standard operating procedures, said people need to be aware that most fatalities that occur during winter storms are indirectly related to a storm.
"People die from traffic accidents on icy roads, heart attacks while shoveling snow, and hypothermia from prolonged exposure to cold," he said.
The Garrard Emergency Management Agency has recently put together an online winter weather safety and winter driving advisory at www.garrardema.com.
Careful planning for winter travel
The advisory recommends that, before driving, people should plan their routes, check the weather, and have road condition phone numbers handy. It's also important to carry a winter storm survival kit and keep the gas tank near full to avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines. Traveling alone is discouraged, but those who drive solo should inform someone of their timetable and route, the advisory states.
For those stranded in a vehicle during hazardous weather, the advisory recommends staying with the vehicle, taking turns sleeping if there are multiple drivers, and running the motor every hour for 10 minutes to keep it warm. Other tips include keeping the windows open slightly to prevent carbon monoxide buildup, tying a bright cloth to the antenna, and exercising periodically by vigorously moving arms, legs, toes and fingers. To alert rescuers, drivers should turn on the dome light while the engine is running, if at night.
If it's during the daytime, drivers should raise the car hood to indicate they need help.
For those caught outdoors without a car, the advisory suggests avoiding panic, finding shelter and trying to stay dry. People should wear loose, lightweight, warm clothes in layers and remove layers to avoid perspiration and subsequent chill. Outer garments should be tightly woven, water repellent, and hooded. It's important to wear a hat, the advisory notes, because half of body heat loss can be from the head.
The advisory suggests covering the mouth to protect lungs from extreme cold and wearing mittens, snug at the wrist, rather than gloves.
Those shoveling or exercising outdoors should avoid overexertion and should place rocks around a fire to absorb and reflect heat.
Melting snow for drinking water is recommended because eating snow will lower a person's body temperature. Building a shelter - a lean-to, windbreak or snow cave for protection for the wind - is also recommended.
At home and work, the advisory suggests, it's helpful to have a flashlight, a battery-powered weather radio, a can opener, extra medicine and baby supplies if necessary, a first-aid kit, heating fuel, an emergency heat source, a fire extinguisher, a smoke alarm, and extra food and water. High energy food is recommended, such as dried fruit, nuts, granola bars and food requiring no cooking or refrigeration. Those with pets should make sure to provide plenty of food, water and shelter.
When using alternate heat from a fireplace, wood stove, or space heater, one should use fire safeguards and properly ventilate. It's also important to close off unneeded rooms and stuff towels or rags in cracks under doors. Covering windows at night is crucial to prevent cold air from coming in, and it's important to wear layers of loose-fitting, lightweight and warm clothing.