Today marks the start of the official “Winter Weather Preparedness Week.” State emergency officials will be educating the public on ways to be prepared in the event of nasty weather. Jeff Orrock is with the National Weather Service in Raleigh. He says this year’s forecast of an intensified La Nina system means there’s a good chance we’ll see a warmer, drier winter than last year’s:
"That said, when you go back to the year 2000. And that was also a La Nina year. And the winter was fairly mild until we got into parts of January. And that’s when we had the major snowstorm that hit a lot of central North Carolina with anywhere from 12 to 24 inches of snow. So it could make this winter a little bit more of a challenge, where we may not see as many storms, but the storms we do see could bring us some real problems with snow and ice."
Orrock makes sure to point out that most deaths and injuries during ice storms take place on the roads. So staying home in the event of a storm could be a matter of life and death. He says people shouldn’t be lulled into complacency by recent warm weather.
"Try not to wait til the last minute when snow and ice is in the forecast. You know, just think about some of the resources you have at the house. It’s always good to think about what you have as far as a disaster supply kit. You know, flashlights, batteries, canned food, bottled water. Stuff like that that folks should really just have on hand, really all the time."