CHARLESTON, WV (WVNS) – Gov. Jim Justice, along with the West Virginia Emergency Management Division and the National Weather Service, have designated Nov. 14 – 18 as Winter Weather Awareness Week in West Virginia.

In his proclamation, Justice recognizes that the risks to everyone during winter weather can be greatly reduced if West Virginians take appropriate preparedness measures before, during and after winter weather strikes.

“Winter Weather Awareness Week gives us the opportunity to prepare for the threats we face each year. I encourage everyone to take time now to prepare their homes, businesses, and communities for winter weather of all types.”

Governor Jim Justice, (R-WV)

Read Governor Justice’s full proclamation here.

“The unpredictable weather we face each year is a reminder of just how dangerous winter can be. Take time during Winter Weather Awareness Week to stock your emergency kits, winterize your vehicles and check your home’s heating system, fireplace or chimney to be sure you’re ready for winter.”

GE McCabe, Director of the West Virginia Emergency Management Division

Assembling a basic emergency kit is one of the best ways to prepare for the winter ahead.

A basic emergency kit should have a three-day supply of food, water, and medicine along with the essential supplies a family would need in the event of a prolonged power outage when travel is not possible. More on what to include in an emergency kit can be found here.

Other winter weather preparedness advice:

  • Know the weather risks your community and area faces.
  • Monitor weather forecasts.
  • When a winter storm is in the forecast, communicate with family members to know their location and travel plans.
  • Make sure all family members can receive emergency alerts.
  • The best idea is to stay home during winter storms, but sometimes that’s not possible. So, winterize your vehicle. Keep an emergency kit in your car.

The West Virginia Department of Transportation urges you to “know before you go” by checking traffic and road closure information at before heading out the door.

“It is not unusual for conditions to vary from no snow and clear driving in the valleys to piles of snow and treacherous travel conditions in the mountains. Travelers should make sure to check the forecast and road conditions all along their route, not just at their destination.”

Tony Edwards, Warning Coordination Meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Charleston

Winter Weather Awareness Week is a perfect time for families, communities, schools, and businesses to review their plans and to build or resupply their emergency kits. To help that effort, EMD and the NWS offices that serve West Virginia will share winter weather preparedness information throughout the week on the web, Facebook, and Twitter.