Winter Preparedness

Hurricane Sandy was a powerful reminder of how mother nature can wreak havoc affecting millions. Here in the Midwest, winter always brings the possibility of severe weather.

Ricky Castro, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service, doesn’t anticipate an overly active winter. He also mentioned that those predictions could shift if weather patterns change later in the season.

Even during typical winters snowstorms can cause major damage to homes and cause power outages. Residents should always pay attention to warnings and take them seriously. Gerry Holmes, a volunteer with the Red Cross in Chicago, says you should have enough water for each person for three days. Each person needs one gallon of water per day. He also stresses having non-perishable food items that don’t require cooking like peanut butter sandwiches. Residents should also have blankets and warm clothing in case the heat stops working.

Communication is key during a natural disaster. Holmes also stresses having a radio on hand that can function without power so people can hear the weather forecasts. Social networking is also another important tool. The National Weather Service updates their Facebook and Twitter feeds with current information, forecasts, and tips.

Short term forecasting has become more accurate in recent years. Most of the time, residents know about the threat of severe weather far enough in advance to prepare.


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