Now’s the Time to Get Ready for Winter Weather

The temperatures are slowly getting cooler with each passing evening and that means it would be a good time to prepare for winter weather. We are currently being forecast with extreme cold weather in the upcoming months. Locations such as the Pacific Northwest have been predicted to have a colder then normal season while our southern states may be warmer and much dryer then they usually are. The various threats for different areas of the nation leaves no doubt that everyone regardless of where they reside will get a healthy dose of winter weather.

Winter preparations should encompass such actions as preparing for winter snowstorms, ice patched roads and other diverse severe weather conditions. There are three main steps every family can take in order to get properly prepared for the approaching winter weather. First it is recommended that you obtain a winter emergency supply kit and placed in your vehicle. Next, develop a combined family communications plan, and finally stay informed concerning the risks and emergencies which can develop in your community.

Disasters are not restricted to severe winter weather. A disasters can in effect strike at just about anytime and anywhere which is the reason everyone should be prepared for emergencies regardless of where they live.

Characteristic severe winter weather often includes snow along with subfreezing temperatures, a strong wind and the buildup of ice complimented by possible heavy rain storms. To be properly prepared one should have an emergency supply kit both in their vehicle as well as at their home. A home based kit will prepare the family for potential winter power outages or icy and impassable roads.

Generally, an emergency supply kit will include a generous supply of food capable of lasting for three days, a gallon of water per day for each member, a battery or hand cranked radio along with extra flashlights and batteries. If you already have an emergency kit setup you should try adding the following supplies to be ready for the upcoming winter season.

* A small quantity of rock salt to de-ice walkways

* Sand to provide traction in icy situations

* A Snow shovel

* Adequate clothing and extra blankets

Ensure that your family preparedness plan is current and that you have included a contact list. Exercise your emergency plan on a scheduled basis to ensure its accuracy and functionality. Learn all you can about the emergency plans established in your location by both the state and your local government. Make certain that your car and your home are prepared for the upcoming winter weather.

Ensure that each family member has the opportunity to review and get familiar with all of the terms which are used to identify winter storm hazards. Discuss what the family members should do if the authorities issue a winter storm watch or a warning. Some sample terms to cover include:

* Freezing Rain which creates a fine coat of ice on highways or walkways.

* Sleet which is rain that has turned to ice pellets prior to reaching the ground.

* Sleet is another cause of roads to become frozen and slippery.

* A Winter Weather Advisory means that ice and snow are soon expected.

* A Winter Storm Watch indicates severe weather is expected in the next couple of days.

* A Winter Storm Warning tells you severe winter conditions are starting.

There you have it all short and sweet, now its time to take the information and get ready for winter weather.

By Joseph Parish