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Get Ready for Winter Weather

December 4, 2012
Dusted in snow, a small town bustles.

It is easy to forget about potential severe winter weather since Georgia typically has fairly mild winters, but don’t get left out in the cold. Severe winter weather can strike here in the South, and being prepared is absolutely crucial.

My wife and I found ourselves homebound without electricity for several days during a pounding snowstorm in 1993. Not only were we stuck, but Ronda was pregnant with our first child. Fortunately, we had everything we needed to survive—except labor and delivery items. Our porch became our refrigerator and freezer when we packed our perishable items in snow and ice and stored them out there. Luckily, our son Chandler waited until the storm passed to join us.

What does winter have in store for us this year? According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center, the outlook is uncertain. El Niño, which brings colder and wetter-than-average conditions, didn’t make its expected appearance, but NOAA predicts that it will arrive in some form … eventually.

Don’t have confidence in the meteorologists? That time tested, oft-quoted source of meteorological data, The Farmer’s Almanac, says that the Southeast can look forward to a wet and chilly winter.

There’s no way to know exactly what Georgia will face this winter, so it’s best to get ready for whatever might come our way. This week is Winter Weather Awareness Week, and it provides the perfect opportunity to prepare. Winter hazards require specific preparation, so take a few minutes to:

  • Make sure your Ready kit has extra blankets and enough food and water for at least 72 hours.
  • Stock your car with a Ready kit, including a blanket, jumper cables and an ice scraper.
  • Boost your winter weather IQ by learning the terms used to describe hazards: freezing rain, sleet, winter weather advisory, etc.

Read more about emergency readiness, and share comments about your winter safety plans to win a two-night stay for two at Lake Blackshear Resort.

About the Author

GEMA/Homeland Security Director Charley EnglishCharley English was sworn in by Governor Nathan Deal as GEMA/Homeland Security Director in January 2011. He has served in the agency since 1996. He oversees all state preparations and deployments regarding emergency management and homeland security efforts.

You can follow Director English's blog postings regularly by visiting Get Ready.