As West Virginians, we’re used to dealing with a little bit of snow. We know the
roads are slick and extra layers are a necessity. We’ve suffered through winters that
brought feet of snow, and we’ve experienced winters without a snowflake in sight.
Although we feel like we’ve seen it all, we don’t know what this winter has in store for us,
and that’s why preparedness is crucial.
Cold temperatures and winter storms can be dangerous for your home, automobiles, and
family if you don’t prepare appropriately. Preparing ahead of time could save you a lot of
money and stress once the winter months are upon us.
Let’s start with preparing your family. People venturing outside should wear tightly woven
outdoor clothing, including waterproof and wind-resistant gloves, a hat, jackets, and boots.
Your goal is to keep your body temperature in, and keep the cold and wet snow/rain/sleet
Another tip is to take precautions when outdoors. Snow and ice are slippery so exercise
caution when walking and wear shoes that provide traction. Areas that seem to pose an icy
problem should be treated with salt. Don’t have salt? No problem, sprinkle some kitty litter
on ice patches and you should be good to go.
This brings us to preparing your home. In case of a power outage, make sure to stock up on
flashlights or candles, bottled water, and food that doesn’t require cooking or refrigeration.
Also, make sure you have a safe alternative heating source and alternative fuels available
(CDC). Your home should also have an assembled emergency kit. Emergency kits should
have things like: battery-operated devices like lanterns and radios, extra batteries, first-aid
kits and medicine, non-perishable food, and water. A good emergency kit should be able to
last your family at least three days.
Preparing your automobile for winter weather includes: keeping your gas tank full to avoid
ice in the tank, putting winter tires on your car, monitoring and maintaining proper
antifreeze levels, and keeping a winter emergency kit inside your car at all times. An
emergency kit for your car should include: a cell phone, portable charger, blankets, food
and water, booster cables, a bag of sand or kitty litter (for traction if you get stuck), a
compass and maps, flashlights, a first aid kit, and extra batteries (CDC).
A lot of these tips may seem like common sense, but as my dad says “common sense isn’t
that common these days.” Take winter weather seriously, so you don’t have to be the
person panicking and running to Walmart after all the water and bread has been sold.
If you’d like to know more about Threat Preparedness and how you can prepare your
family and your home for winter weather, call the office at 304-265- 1288 and ask for our
Threat Preparedness Coordinator Shawn Thorn, or visit our website at