Meteorological winter begins in Virginia on Saturday. With the upcoming winter season in mind, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell has proclaimed Dec. 2-8 as Winter Preparedness Week, and is encouraging all Virginians to take time to prepare to protect themselves and their families in the event of any major winter storms in the months ahead.
What should Virginians do to prepare for winter weather?
The governor’s office provided several important safety tips:
1. Get fireplaces and wood stove chimneys inspected and cleaned,
2. Install smoke detectors in every bedroom and on every level of your home, checking the batteries once a month,
3. If you use space heaters, plug them directly into wall sockets; don’t use extension cords, keeping them at least three feet from other objects such as furniture, bedding and draperies.
4. Gather emergency supplies, at least three days of food that does not need refrigeration or electricity to prepare, at least one gallon of water per day per family member, a battery-powered or hand-crank radio and extra batteries; flashlights and extra batteries; a first aid kit and an extra supply of medications in case you can’t get out to get prescriptions refilled,
5. Make an emergency plan. Decide on a meeting place to reunite if your family cannot return home. Choose an out-of-town friend or relative as a point-of-contact and be sure all family members have that person’s phone number – it is often easier to call long distance than to call locally during an emergency. Remember family members with special needs and your pets when making an emergency plan,
6. Get where you need to go before the weather gets bad.