CHARLESTON, WV (WOAY) – Now is the time for all West Virginians to prepare for what winter weather may bring, including hazardous driving conditions and power outages. That’s why the National Weather Service has joined with Gov. Jim Justice and the W.Va. Division of Emergency Management to designate Nov. 16-20 as Winter Weather Awareness Week.
Winter weather can complicate an already challenging situation as we continue to battle COVID-19,” said Emergency Management acting Director Thom Kirk. “But West Virginians can take very basic steps that will ensure they’re prepared, such as by winterizing their homes and vehicles and assembling an emergency kit. Those simple steps include building an emergency kit.
It should have a three-day supply of food, water and medicine as well as other essential supplies your family will need in the event of a prolonged power outage when travel is not possible. More advice on what to include in a family emergency kit can be found at ready.gov/build-a-kit. West Virginians should also know the possible weather risks to their communities, and monitor weather forecasts. When a winter storm is in the forecast, communicate with family members and know their location and travel plans.
Make sure all family members are able to get emergency alerts. Another great step is to winterize your vehicle and keep an emergency kit in your car. It is not unusual for conditions to vary from no snow and clear driving in the valleys to piles of snow and treacherous travel conditions in the mountains,” said Tony Edwards, Warning Coordination Meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Charleston, WV. “Travelers should make sure to check the forecast and road conditions all along their route, not just at their destination.”
The W.Va. Department of Transportation urges you to “know before you go” by checking traffic and road closure information at wv511.org before heading out the door. Winter Weather Awareness Week is a perfect time for families, communities, schools and businesses to review their plans and to build or resupply their emergency kits.
To help that effort, the National Weather Service offices that serve the state of West Virginia will share winter weather preparedness information throughout the week via the web, Facebook and Twitter.
Partner organizations and the media are also encouraged to participate and the National Weather Service has made various winter weather preparedness articles, infographics and social media plans available for use on the West Virginia Winter Awareness webpage. Additional preparedness information for all hazards can be accessed on the ReadyWV! webpage.