Monday, December 3, 2007

Winter is here! Prepare for it!

News Release Archive

VDEM News Release

Marc LaFountain, VDEM (804) 897-6510


Ready Virginia Focuses on Getting Prepared for Winter

Winter Preparedness Week: Dec. 2-8, 2007

Richmond, Va. - As temperatures continue to drop, the Ready Virginia campaign reminds Virginians that winter weather can cause downed power lines and slippery roads. There are simple, low-cost steps any resident can take to get ready for winter.

"Hurricanes and tornadoes are not the only weather-related hazards that can impact the Commonwealth," said Michael Cline, state coordinator for the Virginia Department of Emergency Management. "Every family should be ready to deal with the dangers that winter presents."

The Ready Virginia campaign is a coordinated effort to provide vital preparedness information to Virginians. It brings state government agencies together with private sector and local government partners in a statewide initiative to prepare residents for all hazards, including natural disasters and potential terrorist attacks.

The campaign's Web site,, provides links to winter-specific safety information from the Virginia departments of Emergency Management, Fire Programs, Social Services and Transportation, as well as the American Red Cross and the National Weather Service. Information includes heating safety, generator safety, fire safety tips, winter driving guidelines, types of winter weather advisories and how to respond to them, winter preparedness information for kids, and the VDSS energy assistance program for low-income Virginians.

"No one should be fooled by the mild forecast," said Bill Sammler, warning coordination meteorologist for the NWS in Wakefield, Va. "Even if the average temperature is higher, there is still the real possibility of severe winter weather."

Simple steps to becoming winter ready include getting emergency supplies, making a communication plan and staying informed about local weather conditions.

  • Emergency supplies for winter weather include, among other things, essential items to last at least three days in the event of a power outage, such as a battery-powered radio and extra batteries, food and water, flashlights, a first aid kit, blankets and medications.
  • Making a communication plan involves discussing the impact of severe winter weather in your area and what your family would do during an actual emergency. Decide on a meeting place if your family cannot return home due to closed roads, designate an out-of-town friend or relative as a point-of-contact and plan for the specific needs of your household. Always tell someone before you travel on snowy or icy roads where you are going and when you expect to arrive.
  • Before, during and after a winter storm, it is critical that you stay informed by listening for the most local, up-to-date information from emergency officials. Local media will convey instructions from local, state and federal government partners, such as details about road conditions, winter storm watches and warnings, and power outages.

Additional winter tips:

  • Plug space heaters directly into wall sockets and keep them at least three feet from other objects. Do not leave them unattended.
  • Install a smoke detector in every bedroom and one on every level of your home. Check the batteries monthly and replace them annually.
  • Make sure that outdoor pets have adequate shelter, unfrozen water and food.
  • Driving is most dangerous when the temperature is at or under 32° F. If the road is wet, ice is likely, especially on bridges, ramps and overpasses. Find current road conditions by calling 511 or visiting
  • Even when roads have been treated with salt and/or sand, drivers should reduce their speed and leave a safe driving distance between themselves and other vehicles on the road.

To see preparedness information for any hazard, visit For more information, contact the Ready Virginia partners listed below.


1 comment:

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