What a winter it has been for the east coast already - and yet it is not over. In fact, some computer models are calling for up to 2 feet of snow to hit the mid-Atlantic region this upcoming weekend. Yes, you read that right. 2 feet of snow. At least that is what the sophisticated computer models that Foot's Forecast relies upon are calling for. So far, the NBC affiliate in Washington D.C. is being far more conservative and is only projecting 6 to 12 inches of snow at this point. But the truth is that they are always very conservative with their estimates 48 hours before a storm hits because they do not want to alarm anyone. In fact, prior to the massive winter storm that hit the east coast in December, local news affiliates in the Washington/Baltimore area were only calling for a moderate amount of snow at first. This is how the local weather business works - they stay very conservative until they are absolutely certain that a monster storm is a sure thing.
But the reality is that this is a monster storm that is going to dump a massive amount of precipitation somewhere. The team over at Foot's Forecast believes that the Washington/Baltimore region is going to get slammed hard. So could they be wrong? Of course. Computer projections can always be wrong.
But you better get prepared just in case.
When it comes to disasters, winter storms are nothing compared to earthquakes and hurricanes, but they can still be dangerous if you are not prepared.
In particular, there is always the danger of the power going out or of being stranded somewhere in your car during a massive winter storm. So there are a few things you need to do to get ready.
First, make sure that you have enough food and water to last a week or longer if necessary. In addition, the most important thing is to make certain that you are able to heat your home and/or stay warm if the power goes out for an extended period of time. The truth is that you can freeze to death in your own home - especially if you live in colder climates. Now, this is not likely to happen if you live in the mid-Atlantic region, but although you may not die, being without heat for an extended period can greatly increase your chance of getting sick.
Secondly, the smart thing to do is to stay home and not drive anywhere during a major winter storm. However, if you must go somewhere, there are certain things you should be sure to take with you. You definitely will want to take your cell phone with you so that you can call for help if needed, and you will also want to take a very warm coat with you in case you are stranded for an extended period. It also does not hurt to have some food and water with you. You will also want to have a shovel in your vehicle in case you need to dig yourself out.
Making certain preparations will make weathering a a major winter storm that much easier. The weather on the east coast this upcoming weekend is not going to be pleasant, but hopefully we can all be smart, prepared and ready to enjoy the snow.