Winter Weather Preparedness Week
December 4-8 is recognized as Winter Weather Preparedness Week this year in Georgia. In conjunction with the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency and its partnership with the National Weather Service, and along with many of our core local partners, we are devoting each day this week to highlight a specific winter weather-related topic:
Prepare for the Winter with such items as:
- Extra blankets, sleeping bags and warm winter coats.
- Fireplace or wood-burning stove with plenty of dry firewood, or a gas log fireplace.
- Kerosene heater, with proper ventilation.
Tuesday, Dec. 5: Winter Weather Terminology -- learn about winter weather "alerts" (watches, warnings and advisories) and what they all mean
Knowing winter weather terms helps you know when to put your personal preparedness plan into action. Here are three key winter weather terms to know:
- A winter storm watch is issued when significant winter weather (i.e. 2 inches or more of snow, ½ inch or more of sleet, ¼ inch or more of freezing rain, or a combination of these events) is possible, but not imminent. A wide range of weather events can prompt a winter storm watch so make sure to pay attention to what the watch is calling for specifically. A watch is typically issued 12 to 48 hours before the possibility of winter weather. This is the time to prepare.
- A winter weather advisory indicates that winter weather is imminent and may cause inconveniences; monitor media for your local impacts. A winter weather advisory is issued up to 36 hours before an event where an 80 percent or greater chance of winter precipitation (i.e. snow, freezing rain/drizzle, sleet or blowing snow) is expected to cause inconveniences, but does not meet warning criteria. This is the time to put your winter weather safety plan into action.
- A winter storm warning is issued when a significant winter storm (i.e., 2 inches or more of snow, ½ inch or more of sleet, ¼ inch or more of freezing rain, or a combination of these events) is imminent and is a dangerous threat to life and property. A winter storm warning can also be issued at forecaster and emergency manager discretion when significant impacts are expected but snow, sleet or freezing rain criteria is not met. These warnings are typically issued up to 36 hours before an event that has an 80 percent or greater chance of significant winter precipitation. This is the time to put your winter weather safety plan into action.
Recommended Items to Include in a Basic Ready Kit:
- Water At least 3 gallons per person, for drinking and sanitation
- Food At least a 3-day supply of non-perishable food
- Can opener For food, if kit contains canned food
- Radio Battery-powered or hand crank NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Whistle To signal for help
- Face mask To help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter in place
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties For personal sanitation
- Wrench or pliers To turn off utilities
- Local maps
Minimize travel during winter weather. If you can postpone your trip or if it is non-essential, stay in when the weather is really bad. If you don’t have somewhere you have to be, watch the snow from indoors. But if you do choose to drive:
- Maintain at least a half tank of gas during the winter season.
- Keep an extra Ready kit in the trunk of your car. In addition to the basic essentials, consider adding a portable cell phone charger, ice scraper, extra blanket, sand for traction and jumper cables.
- Follow directions from local officials about driving during snow and ice storms, and drive with caution.
- SLOW DOWN to at least half your normal speed and use a low gear as you drive.
Pay Attention to Weather Reports