Ready Virginia, from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, reminds us that winters in Virginia can mean snow or subfreezing temperatures, as well as strong winds or even ice or heavy rain storms. We may also experience interruptions in heat, power and communications services to our homes or offices, which can sometimes last for several days.

Ready Virginia, from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, reminds us that winters in Virginia can mean snow or subfreezing temperatures, as well as strong winds or even ice or heavy rain storms. We may also experience interruptions in heat, power and communications services to our homes or offices, which can sometimes last for several days.

For your Vehicle

It is important that you are prepared, especially if you are traveling for any distances in your car. Ready Virginia has a list of items that you should keep in your car during the cold winter months.

  • List of emergency contact information
  • Small flashlight and batteries
  • Whistle or other noisemaker
  • Water
  • Extra medication
  • Copies of prescriptions
  • Extra pair of glasses
  • Hearing aid batteries
  • Pad and pencil or pen
  • Several blankets
  • Extra set of mittens or gloves, wool socks, wool cap during cold weather
  • Jumper cables and instructions
  • Small sack of sand or clay kitty litter
  • Small shovel
  • Red cloth to use as a flag
  • Cellular telephone
  • Emergency car hammer that can break glass and cut seatbelts

Winter Weather Forecasts

Familiarize yourself with the terms used in winter weather forecasts. This will help you determine whether or not you should be on the road.

Familiarize yourself with the terms that are used to identify winter weather.

  • Freezing Rain: Rain falls and freezes on impact, which creates a coating of ice on roads and walkways.
  • Sleet: Rain turns to ice pellets before reaching the ground, causing roads to freeze and become slippery.
  • Winter Weather Advisory: cold, ice and snow are expected.
  • Winter Storm Watch: Severe weather, such as heavy snow or ice, is possible in the next day or two.
  • Winter Storm Warning: Severe winter conditions have begun or will begin very soon.
  • Blizzard Warning: Heavy snow and strong winds will produce a blinding snow, near zero visibility, deep drifts and life-threatening wind chill.
  • Frost/Freeze Warning: Below-freezing temperatures are expected.
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