HENDERSON COUNTY, N.C. (WSPA) – Parts of western North Carolina are under winter storm warnings and winter weather advisories on Thursday and Department of Transportation leaders are encouraging people to stay safe while on the roads.

“NCDOT crews, for this specific storm, are already in preparations to work in the high elevations are, places like Highlands,” said David Uchiyama, a communications officer for NCDOT.

Uchiyama said crews are on the ground, ready to clear any snow and ice Thursday night.

“We’re expecting it to start as rain. So, there’s no reason to treat with a brine anywhere because that would just wash away during the rain,” said Uchiyama.

He said once the rain turns into snow, the plan changes.

“Overnight, they will work the snow and then as temperatures drop, they will start treating known areas that are traditionally icy spots,” said Uchiyama.

He encourages drivers to think twice before heading out.

“You have to make a judgement; do you really need to go out? If not, stay home,” said Uchiyama.

Chris Allan said she’s going to see how roads are Friday morning, then, she’ll decide if she wants to drive to work or work from home.

“If it snows, if there’s any accumulation here in Hendersonville or down where I live, I’ll check the weather and I’ll check to see what the roads are like, and if it’s bad I won’t drive,” said Allan.

She thinks more drivers should be cautious and pay attention to road conditions.

“I think that’s where our big problem comes from is when people try and drive when the roads aren’t safe. It’s better to just stay in until they’re safe,” said Allan.

NCDOT leaders also want people to make sure they’re ready before hitting the road.

“Of course, prepare. Make sure you’ve got everything that you need, plenty of gas, flashlight, maybe even a blanket,” said Uchiyama.

Uchiyama also asks drivers to give crews plenty of room to work, as they clear off any snow and ice.