State Official: Winter Weather Preparation Begins Now

With parts of South Dakota having already seen its first snowfall of the year, officials of the South Dakota Office of Emergency Management (OEM) say it is time to prepare for the inevitable arrival of winter.

Wednesday, Oct. 24, is Winter Weather Awareness Day in South Dakota. The day serves as a reminder that, sooner or later, winter weather will be here.

“We may not like to think about it, but we have to be ready for the winter season,” says Tina Titze, director of the Office of Emergency Management. “That means getting your vehicles and homes ready and making sure people know what to do during severe weather. By preparing now, you can be ready.”

Among the preparation tips OEM suggests are:

*** Monitor local weather forecasts when winter storms are approaching;

*** Make sure you have enough supplies, including food, prescription medication and batteries, if you get stranded at home;

*** When traveling during the winter, make sure you have a winter survival kit in your vehicle and check road conditions before you leave.

“We had major snow storms last year where highways were closed and people were forced to stay in their homes for at least a day or two,” Titze says. “It can happen and it is best to be ready BEFORE the severe weather hits.”

For more on making winter weather preparations, check out the new OEM winter weather guide at http://bready.sd.gov/seasonal/seasonal.aspx.

OEM’s mascot Tommy the Turtle is featured in a book for children regarding winter preparedness. It is available at http://bready.sd.gov/docs/Winter%20Weather%20Book.pdf.

The Office of Emergency Management is part of the South Dakota Department of Public Safety.