Special to Iredell Free News
RALEIGH — Winter Weather Preparedness Week is Dec. 6-12 and Gov. Roy Cooper is encouraging North Carolinians to plan and prepare now, before potentially dangerous winter weather arrives.
“All North Carolinians should be prepared for inclement weather throughout the year,” Cooper said. “This year has shown us just how unpredictable North Carolina’s weather can be.”
Cooper urged residents to monitor changing weather conditions by listening to local media, update their plans and supply kits, and pay close attention to winter weather watches, warnings and advisories.
♦ A Winter Storm Watch is issued, when at least 3 inches of snow and/or ice accumulations of one-quarter inch or more within a 12 to 24 hour period are likely within the next 24 to 48 hours,
♦ A Winter Storm Warning is issued when at least 3 inches of snow and/or ice accumulations of one-quarter inch or more are likely within the next 24 hours,
♦ A Winter Weather Advisory is issued when 1 to 3 inches of snow or ice accumulations of less than one-quarter inch are expected within the next 24 hours, causing travel difficulties.
Winter Weather Prep
♦ To help ensure you are ready for winter weather, North Carolina Emergency Management officials urge you to:
♦ Always keep at least a three-day supply of nonperishable food in your home.
♦ Keep fresh batteries on hand for weather radios and flashlights.
♦ Dress warmly. Wear multiple layers of thin clothing instead of a single layer of thick clothing.
♦ Properly vent kerosene heaters and ensure any electric generators are operated outside and away from open windows or doors to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Never burn charcoal indoors.
♦ Use a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather radio or a weather alert app on your phone to monitor changing weather conditions.
♦ Keep alternative heating sources and fire extinguishers on hand. Be sure your family knows how to use them.
♦ Store an emergency kit in your vehicle. Include scraper, jumper cables, tow chain, sand/salt, blankets, flashlight, first-aid kit and road map.
♦ Make an emergency supplies kit for your pet and include medical records, first-aid kit, enough canned/dry food and water for three to seven days and pet travel bag or carrier.
♦ Do not leave pets outside for long periods of time.
♦ Ensure your pet has a well-fitting collar.
♦ Bring pets inside when temperatures drop below freezing.
♦ Move livestock and other animals to a sheltered location with food and water.
If you must travel during bad weather, emergency officials remind motorists to leave plenty of room between you and other vehicles and, if driving on snow- or ice-covered roadways, reduce your speed. If conditions worsen, pull off the highway and remain in your vehicle. Do not set out on foot unless you can see a building close by where you can take shelter.
The Department of Public Safety and the National Weather Service work together to help North Carolinians plan and prepare for winter weather by providing accurate weather and safety information.
For more information on how to prepare for winter storms and other hazards that affect North Carolina, visit www.readync.org.