Virginians should get ready for winter weather now

VDEM

10501 Trade Court
Richmond, Virginia 23236

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 21, 2013

CONTACT: Laura Southard
(804) 897-9732 or (804) 674-2400
Laura.Southard@vdem.virginia.gov

Bill Sammler, NWS
(757) 899-5732
william.sammler@noaa.gov

Virginians should get ready for winter weather now
Dec. 1-7 is Winter Preparedness Week in Virginia

RICHMOND, Va. – Winters in Virginia can be cold, snowy and icy and bring extended power outages.  To highlight the importance of Virginia families and businesses being winter-ready, the National Weather Service and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management have set aside Dec. 1-7 as Winter Preparedness Week. 

“We’ve had several record breaking winter storms in the past few years, and they serve as good reminders that it’s smart to get ready,” said Michael Cline, state coordinator of emergency management.  “Everyone should take steps now to prepare themselves and their families for whatever winter might bring.”

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.

During Winter Preparedness Week, Virginians can take a few easy steps to get ready for severe weather:

  •  Get a kit.  Imagine you can’t leave home because of a winter storm.  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

 After you have these essentials, then add a first aid kit, supply of prescription medications, blankets and warm clothing, supplies for special members of your household, and pet items.

  • 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 a worksheet at www.ReadyVirginia.gov or on the new Ready Virginia app

  • 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 www.511Virginia.org

  • Download the Ready Virginia app. This helpful emergency planning tool for iPhone® and Android™ mobile devices features:

Location-specific weather watches and warnings issued by the National Weather Service

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

Contact information for local emergency managers

Links to register for local emergency alerts, and more

“One heavy snowstorm with power outages is enough to disrupt schedules and cause people to wish they had prepared better,” said Cline. “It’s much safer to take a little time now and get ready before a winter storm arrives.”

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