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Winter preparedness week kicks off

Winter preparedness week kicks off (Image 1) (Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved)

ROANOKE (WSLS 10) - It's hard to believe with temperatures recently in the 60's, but officials say folks need to start thinking about prepping for winter. 

The Virginia Department of Emergency Management, Roanoke Fire-EMS and the National Weather Service want to remind Virginians Winter Preparedness Week, which starts November 30 and ends December 6, is a great opportunity to make a plan for handling severe winter weather.

Officials say snow and ice storms can cause lengthy power outages, life-threatening low temperatures and dangerous road conditions.  They say injury and death from hypothermia, heart attack, stroke and traffic crashes are all too common during the winter season. 

Here are some tips they're listing for Winter Weather Preparedness:

Get a kit
You'll need emergency supplies on hand at home, in the car and at work. 
For home, start with these basics: three days' food and water; a battery-powered and/or hand-crank radio with extra batteries; and a family emergency plan. After getting these supplies, add a first aid kit, medications if needed, blankets and warm clothing, supplies for special members of your household, and pet items.
For your car, start with some bottles of water and food bars; bag of sand or kitty litter to provide traction under tires; hats, gloves and blankets; and cell phone charger.
For your office, have some bottles of water and food bars and a radio to hear local information about whether or not it is safe to travel.  Officials may advise staying in place until it is safe to travel.

Make a plan 
Choose an out-of-town relative or friend to be your family's point of contact for emergency communications.
Decide on a meeting place if your family cannot return home because of closed roads. 

Discuss with your family what you would do in case of severe winter weather in your area.
Stay informed. Before, during and after a winter storm, listen for up-to-date information from your local media and emergency officials. Local media will give instructions from local, state and federal agencies that cover road conditions, winter storm watches and warnings, power outages and health information. Make sure your battery-powered radio is working and you have extra batteries in case the electricity goes out.

For more on preparing for winter weather in Virginia, visit www.ReadyVirginia.gov and click on Stay Informed or click here