Winter Preparedness Week
Posted at 1 p.m.
While temperatures are somewhat milder this week, we did get a sneak peek at cold, winter weather over the Thanksgiving holidays. And Mother Nature is certainly getting ready to bring us colder temperatures and perhaps ice and snow — there’s a slight chance of snow next Monday — are you ready for winter weather?
This week, Dec. 1-7, is Winter Preparedness Week across Virginia, a great time to take a few minutes and make sure you have everything you need to be ready for wintry weather.
According to the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, the National Weather Service (NWS) predictions for the winter of 2013-14 in Virginia suggest normal temperatures and precipitation for the season.
“We don’t see indications of an extremely cold winter in Virginia. However, the potential for normal snowfall and/or ice means we need to be ready for disruptions in travel and schedules,” said Bill Sammler, NWS Wakefield warning coordination meteorologist.
Winter Preparedness Tips
There are several easy things you can do to make sure that you and your family are better prepared for winter.
First, and you’ve heard this one before, but you need to take action and get an emergency supply kit. Imagine you can’t leave home because of a winter storm or you lost electricity for hours or days due to a winter storm. Your basic emergency supply kit should include:
- Three days’ food that doesn’t need refrigeration or electricity to prepare it.
- Three days’ water (a gallon per person per day).
- A battery-powered and/or hand-crank radio with extra batteries.
- A basic first-aid kit, with a supply of prescription medications.
- Extra blankets and warm clothing.
- Supplies for special members of your household, and don’t forget food and items for your pets.
Next, make a plan. Everyone needs an emergency plan. Decide who your out-of-town emergency contact will be and where will you meet up with family members if you can’t return home?
Third, get connected with ways to stay informed. Before, during and after a winter storm, you should:
- Listen to local media for weather information and news; don’t forget Fairfax County Government Radio for current weather forecasts and county news.
- Be aware of winter storm watches and warnings and road conditions. You can sign up for free email and text alerts via our emergency alert system.
- Bookmark this emergency information blog and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
Stay Off the Roads, Not Out in the Weather
Finally, remember this phrase to enjoy a safe winter: “Get where you need to go before the weather gets bad.” By staying off roadways during snow, freezing rain or sleet, you’ll be safer and give more room to snowplows clearing the streets and public safety officials to have less traffic to navigate during bad weather.
“One heavy snowstorm with power outages is enough to disrupt schedules and cause people to wish they had prepared better,” said Michael Cline, state coordinator of emergency management. It’s much safer to take a little time now and get ready before a winter storm arrives.”