Monday, December 1, 2014

Episode 242 (12-1-14): “Cold World” by Kat Mills, for Virginia's Winter Preparedness Week

Click to listen to episode (3:33)
[2/16/15 note: This episode was repeated in Episode 253, 2-16-15; the show notes for that episode have additional winter-preparedness suggestions.]


From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of December 1, 2014.

This week, a song by a Blacksburg, Va., musician helps remind us that winter’s challenges are inevitably approaching.  Have a listen for about 25 seconds.


You’ve been listening to part of “Cold World,” by Kat Mills, on the 2003 CD “Long Time,” from Sweetcut Music.  The song describes a cold time emotionally, and it’s hard to know when that’s coming.  But there’s no question that by early December in Virginia, cold weather’s coming, so November 30 to December 6 is Virginia’s Winter Preparedness Week.  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.

*Try to get to travel destinations 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 NOAA Weather Radio band.

*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 don’t leave heaters unattended.

*Generators, camp stoves, and charcoal-burning devices should be used outdoors only.

*Use flashlights, not candles, during power outages.

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

More information on preparing for severe weather and other emergencies is available online at  Thanks to Kat Mills for permission to use this week’s music, and good luck keeping warm and safe during every winter’s “cold world.”

MUSIC - ~18 sec

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 12/1/14]

The makings of a white Thanksgiving and an early-season winter weather advisory: snow falling in Blacksburg, Va., in the early morning of November 26, 2014.

“Cold World” and “Long Time” are copyright by Kat Mills and Sweetcut Music, used with permission.  More information about Kat Mills is available online at and at

Sources for this Episode

“Governor McAuliffe urges Virginians to get ready for winter weather; November 30-December 6 is Winter Preparedness Week in Virginia,” Virginia Governor’s Office News Release, 11/25/14, online at

Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM), “Winter Preparedness Week,” online at  The VDEM’’s “Ready Virginia” program, online at, is the Commonwealth’s central source of information on preparedness for all types of emergencies and disasters.

Virginia Department of Transportation information on traffic and road conditions, online at

Sources for More Information on Winter Weather Preparedness

American Red Cross, “Winter Storm Preparedness, at; or contact your local Red Cross chapter.

Federal Emergency Management Agency, “Winter Storms and Extreme Cold,” online at

NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) “Weather Radio All Hazards” network, online at

U.S. Department of Energy, “Portable Heaters,” online at

Selected News and Events Relevant to Weather

Virginia Water Central News Grouper posts on weather are available online at  The posts—mostly about Virginia, but in some cases about other areas—cover primarily severe-weather events, precipitation and drought, and tropical storms during the June-November Atlantic tropical storm season.

Related Virginia Water Radio Episodes

Winter Preparedness Week was also the subject of 
Episode 190, 12/2/13 – Cold Winds Return and So Does “Winter Weather Preparedness Week” in Virginia.

Episodes on other weather-preparedness topics are the following:
Episode 204, 3/10/14 - Tornado Preparedness and Virginia’s Statewide Tornado Drill.
Episode 215, 5/26/14
- Here Comes Atlantic Tropical Storm Season.
Episode106, 4/9/12
– Getting the Weather Message.

SOLs Information for Virginia Teachers

This episode and its online notes may help with Science Standards of Learning (SOLs) for Interrelationships in Earth/Space Systems Earth Resources in grade 4, for Matter in grade 6, and in Earth Science (particularly ES.13).