It’s Winter Preparedness Week; Are You Ready?

Posted at 11 a.m.

Winter Preparedness Week in Virginia

Winters in Virginia often are cold, snowy and icy and can bring power outages. To highlight the importance of being winter-ready, the National Weather Service and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management have set aside this week, Nov. 30 – Dec. 6 as Winter Preparedness Week.

Last week’s snow was a gentle reminder that whether we are ready or not, we do have the chance for snow — as well as ice and freezing temperatures — throughout the winter months.

Although the current National Weather Service (NWS) winter outlook indicates Virginia could have a less severe winter than last season, you still need to be sure to have emergency plans and supplies are in place.

winter weather, snow and cold

“A significant winter storm is possible any winter in Virginia, even during those winters with overall temperatures near or above normal,” said Bill Sammler, NWS warning coordination meteorologist. “If the El Nino weather pattern happens as expected, then Virginia residents should anticipate storminess and a wetter than normal winter overall. El Nino winters are generally not snowier, but they can be, if atmospheric conditions are right. A recent example is the 2009-10 winter.”

During Winter Preparedness Week, take these preparedness steps:

Make a Kit

Basic emergency supplies include:

snowflake-iconThree days’ food that doesn’t need refrigeration or electricity to prepare it.

snowflake-iconThree days’ water (a gallon per person per day).

snowflake-iconA battery-powered and/or hand-crank radio with extra batteries.

snowflake-iconA first-aid kit, prescription medications, blankets and warm clothing, and supplies for special members of your household and pet items.

snowflake-iconA power pack for recharging cellphones and other mobile devices.

snowflake-iconFor businesses and offices, keep some bottles of water and food bars on hand.

snowflake-iconHave a radio to hear local information about whether or not it is safe to travel. Officials may advise staying in place until it is safe to travel.

snowflake-iconBe sure to keep an emergency kit in your car as well.

Make a Plan

Everyone needs an emergency plan:

snowflake-iconDecide who your out-of-town emergency contact will be. Where will you meet up with family members if you can’t return home?

snowflake-iconGet an emergency plan worksheet at www.ReadyVirginia.gov or on the new Ready Virginia app.

snowflake-iconVisit ReadyNoVa.org and create a family emergency plan or an emergency plan for your business.

Stay Informed

Before, during and after a winter storm, you should:

snowflake-iconListen to local media for information and instructions from our emergency management and public safety officials.

snowflake-iconBe aware of winter storm watches and warnings and road conditions.

snowflake-iconGet road condition information 24/7 by calling 511 or checking www.511Virginia.org.

snowflake-iconIf you do have to travel, remember to get where you need to be before the weather gets bad.

Learn more about winter storms and extreme cold from VDEM as well as on our winter storm, snow and cold Web page. And get tips on how to make a kit, make a plan and stay informed.

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