Eventually Winter Will Be Here … Will You Be Ready?
Posted at 1 p.m.
This week, Nov. 29 through Dec. 5, is Winter Preparedness Week in Virginia as proclaimed by Gov. Terry McAuliffe. Even though really cold winter temperatures have yet to arrive, the week serves as a good reminder to prepare now before severe weather does arrive.
Virginia could get a wetter-than-average and colder-than-average winter, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). The NWS has predicted above-median precipitation amounts for December, January and February for the commonwealth due to a strong El Niño effect. NWS also predicts that temperatures might be slightly below median levels.
“No matter what the predictions are, a significant winter storm is always possible,” said state emergency management coordinator Dr. Jeff Stern. “You can reduce the risk of loss of life and property during the winter months by taking measures before severe weather arrives, and follow the proper steps during and after winter storms.”
An important part of winter weather planning is being prepared to stay where you are until conditions improve. To be ready, take these steps:
Get a Kit
Basic emergency supplies include:
Food and water for three days (one gallon of water per person per day).
A battery-powered and/or hand-cranked radio with extra batteries.
For businesses and offices, bottled water, protein bars and a radio or TV to hear local information about whether it is safe to travel.
A power pack for recharging cellphones and other mobile devices.
Make a Plan
Everyone needs an emergency plan:
Decide who your out-of-town emergency contact will be.
Where will you meet up with family members if you can’t return home?
Make your family emergency plan online at www.ReadyNOVA.org.
Before, during and after a winter storm, you should:
Listen to local media for information and instructions from emergency officials.
Be aware of winter storm watches and warnings and road conditions.
Get where you need to go before the weather gets bad.
Get road condition information 24/7 by calling 511 or checking www.511Virginia.org.
Winter weather can mean snow and ice, treacherous roads and driving conditions, loss of electricity and other issues. Fairfax County’s Emergency Management Coordinator Dave McKernan encourages residents to take time now to prepare for the hazards that accompany Old Man Winter.
“There may be leaves on the ground now and not snow,” says McKernan, “but we all know that sooner or later we will see snow in our area. Take advantage of the relatively mild temperatures this week and winterize your home and vehicles, and make sure that you have prepared your family for the possibilities of severe cold temperatures, snow and ice.”
Learn more about winter weather preparedness on our winter storms, snow and cold Web page.