By Kay Whatley, Editor
In North Carolina, December 3-9, 2017 has been declared Winter Weather Preparedness Week (see the Governor’s Declaration (PDF). All North Carolinians are urged to make a plan, prepare for outages/damage, and get ready for the winter storm season. Winter will be here soon!
Said Governor Roy Cooper:
“North Carolina has seen its share of snow and ice storms in recent years and we need to be ready for the next one. As winter begins, make sure you review your emergency plans, update your emergency supply kit and stay informed about weather forecasts.”
Said state Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry:
“Many families are still recovering from Hurricane Matthew and other disasters. Emergency managers are working daily with impacted communities to help them recover from these storms. But it is critical that we also prepare for any winter storm that can bring different hazards.”
According to the Governor’s office, each year North Carolina experiences as many as a dozen winter storms in the Piedmont area, at least ten winter storms in the mountains, and four or fewer winter storms that impact the coastal counties. Forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center — online here — are expecting a mild La Niña to influence winter conditions this year.
When winter weather warnings are issued, be prepared for possible power outages or dangerous driving conditions. Remember:
- Winter Storm Watch means severe winter conditions are expected within 24-48 hours.
- Winter Weather Advisory indicates that winter weather conditions are expected to cause delays and problems (inconveniences) within 24 hours.
- Winter Storm Warning indicates that dangerous accumulations of snow and/or ice are likely within 24 hours.
The North Carolina Emergency Management office, part of the state’s Department of Public Safety, recommends these preparations:
- Always keep at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food in your home.
- Use a NOAA Weather Radio to monitor for changing weather conditions.
- Keep fresh batteries on hand for weather radios and flashlights.
- Dress warmly for the cold. Wear multiple layers of thin clothing instead of a single layer of thick clothing.
- Properly vent kerosene heaters and keep electric generators outside and away from open windows or doors to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Do not burn charcoal indoors.
- Keep alternative heating sources and fire extinguishers on hand. Be sure your family knows how to use them.
- Store an emergency kit in your vehicle. Include scraper, jumper cables, tow chain, sand/salt, blankets, flashlight, first aid kit and road map.
When winter weather is expected, or already hitting your area, minimize time on the roads. Be safe and don’t travel if you don’t have to travel.
Be sure to plan for pets, too. They will need food, water, any medicines, and warmth/safety.
The Department of Public Safety and the NOAA National Weather Service work together to help residents plan and prepare for winter weather by providing accurate weather and safety information. North Carolina offers the downloadable ReadyNC app at readync.org/EN/Index.html, which provides traffic information, weather conditions, emergency data, and more.
Source: Ford Porter, NC Office of the Governor