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Dec 01

Get Ready for Winter Weather

Posted on December 1, 2014 at 4:01 PM by OCOM Specialist

By Virginia Department of Emergency Management,

Winter Preparedness Week in Virginia is Nov. 30-Dec. 6

Recent Virginia winters have been cold and snowy, and many people had power outages. It’s so important to be winter-ready that the National Weather Service and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management have set aside Nov. 30-Dec. 6 as Winter Preparedness Week.

No matter the predictions, a significant winter storm is always possible. With an El Nino weather pattern expected this season, there could be a wetter than normal winter. And El Nino winters can be snowier if atmospheric conditions are right … just like the winter of 2009-10.

Remember: 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:
    •  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
    •  For businesses and offices, some bottles of water, food bars and a radio or TV to hear local information about whether or not it is safe to travel
    •  A power pack for recharging cell phones 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?
    •  Get an emergency plan worksheet at
  •  Stay informed. 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 
  • Download the Ready Virginia app. Free app for iPhone® and Android™ features:
    •  Location-specific weather watches and warnings issued by NWS
    •  Disaster news from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management
    •  A customizable family emergency plan that can be easily shared
    •  A checklist for gathering emergency supplies
    •  Links to register for local emergency alerts, and more