Get ReadyNC! Winter is Coming.

Friday, December 1, 2017 - 9:40am

Winter Weather Preparedness Week is Dec. 3-9

While most of us have yet to see any snow, sleet, or freezing rain this year, winter is approaching fast and emergency officials are urging residents to prepare.

Like last winter, a weak La Niña pattern (cooler than normal ocean waters in the central Pacific Ocean) is forecast to develop. Because of the predicted La Niña, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecasts a drier and warmer than normal winter across the southeastern United States. North Carolina residents are reminded that even when winters are predicted to be warmer and drier than usual, winter storms can and do still occur.

North Carolina Emergency Management officials are urging residents to prepare now for possible winter storms in the coming months. To help ensure you are ready for winter emergencies, visit and download the ReadyNC app for the most up-to-date information.

Additionally, keep in mind the following safety tips:

  • Always keep at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food in your home
  • Properly vent kerosene heaters and keep any electric generators outside and away from any open windows or doors to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • If using alternate heating sources, keep an adequate supply of heating fuel at your home. Never burn charcoal indoors.
  • Have fire extinguishers on hand and be sure your family knows how to use them.
  • Wear multiple layers of thin clothing, instead of a single layer of thick clothing.
  • Monitor reports on a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radio, as well as local radio and television stations to help stay informed of changing weather conditions.
  • Store an emergency kit in your vehicle. Include scraper, jumper cables, tow chain, sand/salt, blankets, flashlight, first aid kit and road map.

If you must travel during severe winter weather, officials remind residents to drive with caution. Make sure your gas tank is full, leave plenty of room between you and other vehicles and reduce speed if driving on snow or ice covered roadways. If conditions worsen, pull off the roadway to a safe location and remain in your vehicle. Do not set out on foot unless you can see a building close by where you can take shelter.

Remember to keep in mind these emergency preparedness steps: make a plan, practice your plan and stay informed. Discuss your emergency plan with your family, making sure everyone knows how to contact each other and where to meet in case of an emergency.

Do not be complacent about this year’s mild forecast. Winter is quickly approaching and as usual, we in North Carolina must prepare for the unexpected. Residents are urged to take time to plan and prepare for your family’s safety now. When the snow starts, you’ll be glad you did.