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Get prepared, folks: Like it or not, winter weather has arrived in Virginia

Crystal Graham
snow on roads in winter
(© Irina Mikhailichenko – stock.adobe.com)

As temperatures in the Commonwealth get colder, the Virginia Department of Emergency Management and the National Weather Service encourage Virginians to prepare for the upcoming winter season.

To help that effort, VDEM and NWS have teamed up for Winter Weather Awareness Week running Dec. 4-8.

Winter can bring extreme cold, ice, snow, and high winds and may knock out power and heat and cause hazardous travel conditions, sometimes with deadly results.

VDEM and NWS is urging everyone to make a plan, build a home and car emergency kit and stay informed on the latest conditions.

“The winter season can impact all Virginians, and we encourage everyone to stay prepared,” said State Coordinator Shawn Talmadge. “Whether it’s snow, ice or extreme cold, make sure your homes and cars are ready for whatever winter will bring.”

During a winter storm, roads and walkways may become extremely dangerous or impassable, and access to critical community services may be limited.

Winter Weather Awareness Week is a perfect time for families, communities, schools and businesses to review their emergency plans, build or resupply their emergency kits and learn about winter weather and how it impacts Virginia.

“When snow and ice are in the forecast, keep up with the latest forecasts and warnings using official sources,” said NWS Wakefield Meteorologist in Charge Jeff Orrock. “Plan knowing winter weather can cause travel disruptions lasting days and in some cases power outages during cold air outbreaks. Our homes are safe places during winter storms if we plan ahead.”

For more information on Winter Weather Awareness Week, visit www.weather.gov/akq/WinterWeatherAwarenessWeek

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.