NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — As a big winter storm bears down on the Tri-State area, officials are urging residents to keep safe and be prepared.

As much as a foot of snow is forecast to fall in some areas overnight Thursday into Friday and temperatures are expected to plummet.

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Officials say drivers should stay off the roads when conditions include sleet, freezing rain, snow or dense fog.

“We are facing three hazards: snow, high winds and extremely low wind chills,” said Col. Rick Fuentes, State Police Superintendent and Director of the NJ Office of Emergency Management. “Be especially careful if you must travel.  The conditions tonight into tomorrow morning will be treacherous.”

If travel is necessary, make sure you have supplies in your car including a shovel, blanket, flashlight, water, snacks, first aid kit, extra batteries and a sack of sand or cat litter.

Another tip: Keep the gas tank full. A full tank will keep the fuel line from freezing.

The Red Cross says residents should be prepared not just for the snow, but also for extreme cold and power outages.

If possible, the Red Cross says stay indoors. But if you are working outside or shoveling snow, take frequent breaks to avoid risk of injury or cardiac arrest.

Wear several layers of warm, loose-fitting, lightweight clothing to help protect against frostbite and hypothermia.

Inside your home, keep any potential sources of fuel like paper, clothing, bedding or rugs at least three feet away from space heaters, stoves or fireplaces. Portable heaters and fireplaces should never be left unattended.

If using a space heater, keep it level on a hard and non-flammable surface (like a ceramic tile floor) and never on rugs or carpets or near bedding or drapes. Always keep children and pets away from space heaters.

Never use a cooking range or oven to heat your home.

The ASPCA also wants to make sure your furry friend is safe and warm as the temperature drops.

It says to never let your dog off the leash on snow or ice, especially during a snowstorm. Dogs can lose their scent and become lost.

Wipe off your dog’s legs, feet and stomach after going outside. Snow, ice can hurt your dog’s paws. Salt and antifreeze can be ingested if he licks his paws.

Bring your pets inside during winter weather. The ASPCA says if it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for your pet.

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