The squirrels think it may be a mild winter this year. The geese have been flying north this week. The National Weather Service says it may be a mild winter this year.
That must be why the National Weather Service announced yesterday that Winter Weather Awareness Week begins today in North Puffin.
Believe me. No one in North Puffin needs a reminder of winter weather.
Except research shows that about 70 percent of the ice and snow related fatalities occur in automobiles, and about 25 percent of all winter related fatalities are people caught off guard, out in the storm.
The best awareness plan, then, is not to drive; stay inside with your feet next to the wood stove.
Today, the National Weather Service will offer tips on ways to prepare for winter hazards.
I have a winter car kit in each vehicle, the wood stoves and generators have all passed their test run, and I obsess over the weather forecasts.
The harder part of living in the frozen north is the lack of a single planning checklist. That surprised me. In South Puffin, every television station, every radio station, every newspaper inundates us with Hurricane Preparedness guides.
Not here. I found the public information statement from the National Weather Service-Burlington at the Victoria Advocate. (At 165 years old, the Victoria Advocate, is Texas‘ second oldest newspaper. The Advocate can be found exactly where it has been for 62 of those years, on East Constitution Street in downtown Victoria, exactly 1,998 miles from North Puffin.)
A family emergency plan and an accompanying emergency kit is a good thing. This season is a good time to over warn and over-react: “Prepare for the worst. Pray for the best.” I distilled the best advices I could find into a Winter Preparedness Guide on my business site, harperco.net.
On Tuesday: What to do if stranded on the road during a storm.
Reality check. We are all far more likely to be stuck in a parking space than stuck in a snow drift off the Mountain Road. 90% of what you’ll find on the Winter Preparedness Guide will help even if you are in your own driveway. And the other 10%? Why not finish the test so the real test doesn’t finish you?
On Wednesday: Protect yourself from the wind and cold.
Take a look at how skiers, ski patrollers, and your highway guys dress. Take a lesson.
On Thursday: Winter flooding and ice jams across the North Country.
Almost freezing water on your floor? Flooding can come from broken pipes or a broken roof just as easily as it does from the lake or river near your house.
On Friday: Winter weather terminology. What exactly does “A winter storm warning is in effect” mean?
See my better plan below.
On Saturday: Review preparedness activities for winter.
Americans live in the most severe-weather prone country on Earth, so I have a better plan.