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Winter came early! Are you ready?

Virginia's Winter Preparedness Week is Dec. 4-10, 2011

Old Man Winter paid an early visit to many Virginia communities at the end of October with snow accumulation and cold temperatures! Were you surprised? Were you ready?

During winter months, there could be power outages, icy roads, closed schools and businesses, and health problems associated with wind, cold and snow. If you and your family aren.t ready for winter, then take a few simple steps now to prepare.

  • Make a plan. Decide on a meeting place outside of your neighborhood if your family is separated and cannot return home because of closed roads. Choose an out-of-town relative or friend to be your family's point of contact for emergency communications. With your family, write down your emergency plan - get a free worksheet at Click on Make a Plan for more details.

  • Get a kit. Start with these basic supplies for winter weather: three days. food; three days. water (a gallon per person per day); a battery-powered and/or hand-crank radio with extra batteries; and your written family emergency plan. After you have these essential supplies, add a first aid kit, medications if needed, blankets and warm clothing, supplies for special member of your household, and pet items.

  • Stay informed. Before, during and after a winter storm, you should listen to local media for instructions from emergency officials. There may be times when you are advised to stay in place until it is safe to travel. Stay informed about winter storm watches and warnings and road conditions. Get weather information from your National Weather Service at You can get road condition information 24/7 by calling 511 or checking

Go to and print out an emergency supply checklist and a family emergency plan. Get ready now - and remember that Winter Preparedness Week in Virginia is Dec. 4-10.

National Weather Service
Weather Forecast Office Baltimore/Washington
43858 Weather Service Rd.
Sterling, VA 20166
Phone: (703) 996-2200
Page last modified: Dec 5, 2011 1:49 PM EST
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