Augusta Free Press

McAuliffe urges Virginians to get ready for winter weather

Winters in Virginia often are cold, snowy and icy and bring extended power outages.  To highlight the importance of Virginia families and businesses being winter-ready, the National Weather Service and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management have set aside November 30 – December 6 as Winter Preparedness Week.

“We’ve had several record breaking winter storms in the past few years and they serve as good reminders that it’s smart to be prepared,” said Governor McAuliffe.  “Everyone should take steps now to be sure families, homes and businesses are ready for whatever winter may bring us this season.”

Although the current National Weather Service winter outlook indicates Virginia could have a less severe winter than last season, people still need to be sure their emergency plans and supplies are in place.

Please click here to see the proclamation Governor McAuliffe issued.

“A significant winter storm is possible any winter in Virginia, even during those winters with overall temperatures near or above normal,” said Bill Sammler, NWS warning coordination meteorologist.  “If the El Nino weather pattern happens as expected, then Virginia residents should anticipate storminess and a wetter than normal winter overall.  El Nino winters are generally not snowier, but they can be, if atmospheric conditions are right.  A recent example of that is the 2009-10 winter.”

An important part of winter weather planning is being prepared to stay where you are until conditions improve.  During Winter Preparedness Week, Virginians should take these steps:


Get a kit.  Basic emergency supplies include:


Make a plan.  Everyone needs an emergency plan:


Stay informed.  Before, during and after a winter storm, you should:


Download the Ready Virginia app. This helpful emergency planning tool for iPhone® and Android™ mobile devices features:

“One heavy snowstorm with power outages is enough to disrupt schedules and cause people to wish they had prepared better,” said Governor McAuliffe. “It’s much safer to take a little time now and get ready before a winter storm arrives.”



Visit for more on preparing for winter weather.