Monday, December 2, 2013

Episode 190 (12-2-13): Cold Winds Return and So Does "Winter Weather Preparedness Week" in Virginia

To mark “Winter Weather Preparedness Week” in Virginia, Virginia Water Radio repeats its winter-preparedness episode, first done for Episode 139, 12-3-12.
Click to listen to episode (2:59)


From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of December 2, 2013.

This week, we feature another series of mystery sounds.  Have a listen for about 25 seconds and see if you can guess what kind of weather-preparedness activities these sounds represent.  And here’s a hint: if you think your guess is cold, you’ll be getting warm.


If you guessed winter-storm preparedness, you’re right!  The sounds of winter winds, a hand-cranked radio, a smoke alarm-test, and water filling a container are reminders that the first week of December is winter-storm preparedness week in Virginia.  Here are some tips from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management for staying safe from winter’s hazardous roads, low temperatures, power outages, and fire hazards.

*Get to your destination before the weather gets bad.  You can get road conditions by phoning 511

*Have a battery-powered or hand-cranked radio, especially one with a weather radio band that provides reports directly from the National Weather Service.

*Get fireplaces, wood stoves, and chimneys inspected and cleaned.

*Install a smoke detector in every bedroom and on every floor level, and check the batteries regularly.

*If you use space heaters, plug them into wall outlets, not into extension cords; keep heaters at least three feet from other objects, and turn them off before going to bed.

*Use flashlights, not candles, during power outages.

*And make a family emergency plan that includes a meeting place if your family cannot return home; an out-of-town emergency contact; and at least a three-day emergency supply of food, water, and medications.

More details on preparing for severe weather and other emergencies are available online at

For other water sounds and music, and for more Virginia water information, visit our Web site at, or call us at (540) 231-5463.  From the Virginia Water Resources Research Center in Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.


[All Internet addresses mentioned were functional as of 12/2/13]

Photo from Virginia Department of Emergency’s Web site,, 12/2/13.

Winter ice and snow in Blacksburg, Virginia, December 5, 2007.

Acknowledgments: The winter storm sound was from a recording make available for public use on (, recording DMP013016 HEAVYSNOWSTORM.wav, accessed 12/2/13.  Other sounds were recorded by Virginia Water Radio.
Sources:  The winter-preparedness tips were taken from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management’s Winter Preparedness Week Web site at  That site includes more information as well as video and audio messages.

Information on use of space heaters was taken from the U.S. Department of Energy, online at

Road conditions are available in Virginia online at  A mobile-phone app is available, as well.

Additional sources of information for winter preparedness are the following:
American Red Cross, at, or contact your local Red Cross chapter;
Federal Emergency Management Agency,

Recent Virginia Water News and Other Information
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