Virginia Cooperative Extension encourages Virginians to prepare for winter

Do not overexert yourself when shoveling snow or stay outdoors for long periods of time. Photo credit: Extension Disaster Education Network

Do not overexert yourself when shoveling snow or stay outdoors for long periods of time. Photo credit: Extension Disaster Education Network

BLACKSBURG, Va., Nov. 26, 2014 – The National Weather Service and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management have set Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2014, as Winter Preparedness Week.

“We live in an area where snow, ice, and low temperatures are common, and winterizing your home is a good first step in preparing for winter months,” said Michael Martin, Virginia Cooperative Extension emergency response and preparedness coordinator. “Make sure that your home is well-insulated and that water lines are protected from freezing.”

According to Martin, Virginia is vulnerable to severe winter weather that can bring extended periods of freezing temperatures, high winds, heavy snow accumulation, freezing rain, and ice accumulation.

“The effects of these storms can include power outages, downed trees and tree branches, blocked roadways, and broken water pipes,” Martin said. “Residents may also find themselves without power or heat for several days and may be unable to leave their homes due to the storm’s effects.”

Martin encourages Virginians to prepare for power outages.

“Some things to consider include heat sources, light sources, food, and water. Don’t forget your pets and livestock as well,” Martin said. “As with preparation for all emergencies, get a kit, make a plan, and stay informed.”

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