We like to remind everybody that Virginia is no stranger to the dangers that winter weather can bring across the Commonwealth so regardless of where you live, you are likely to face some type of severe winter weather at some point.
Last week was a perfect example of how it does not take a record-breaking snowfall to see
severe impacts from winter weather.
Heavy snowfall and extreme cold has the ability to cripple an entire region, sometimes for days at a time like we are experiencing currently.
One of our primary concerns is always the winter weather‘s ability to knock out heat, power and communications services to homes or businesses.
Similar to general storm preparedness, we like to remind everyone to prepare your home for
o Make sure your home is properly insulated
o Check the weather stripping around your windows and doors
o Learn how to shut off water valves in case a pipe bursts
o Have additional heat sources on hand in case of a power outages
o Keep a fire extinguisher accessible
o Replace the batteries in your Carbon Monoxide detector annually
o And along with that we encourage everybody to follow the safety guidelines when
utilizing generators or kerosene heaters.
We also can’t ignore the safety risks that come with clearing snow.
o Overexertion during snow shoveling activities can bring on a heart attack which believe it or not is a major cause of death in the winter.
o Watch for signs of frostbite, watch for signs of hypothermia.
Last week has proven that driving in wintery weather not only poses a risk for traffic crashes but can also lead to traffic congestion on a roadway for extended periods of time.
o The first step to driving carefully is to always be aware of the current and changing
weather conditions along your trip.
o While it is always best to stay home when hazardous weather exists, allow yourself
plenty of time, be aware of potentially icy areas, break early and slowly, and keep a safe
distance behind other vehicles.
o Most importantly, stay aware of emergency response vehicles and plows, and
remember to move over and reduce your speed when passing.
o Please heed warnings to avoid travel. If you absolutely have to be on the roadway,
prepare your vehicle and have a kit for you and your passengers. This could include
items such as:
-Drinking water and snacks for everyone in the car, including pets
-Basic first-aid kit
-Warm coat and insulating layers (sweatpants, gloves, hat, socks,)
-Rags, paper towels or pre-moistened wipes
-Basic set of tools
-Car emergency warning devices such as road flares or reflectors
-Ice scraper/snow brush
-Jumper cables/jump pack
-Items for children such as diapers, baby wipes, toys, etc.
-Flashlight, with extra batteries
-Portable smart phone power bank