GOHSEP: Get a game plan for winter weather

Staff Report

     BATON ROUGE – While it’s hard to think of winter weather when it’s 81 degrees in December, the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) is joining with our partners at the four National Weather Service (NWS) offices that cover Louisiana in sharing winter weather awareness information.    

     Conditions have been relatively mild so far this winter, but there have been several events with freezing rain, ice and snow during the last few years impacting the entire state. GOHSEP urges everyone in Louisiana to visit the NWS-Shreveport, NWS-Jackson (MS), NWS-Lake Charles and NWS-New Orleans offices websites and social media accounts for information for your region.

     “Winter weather events can cause many difficult problems,” said GOHSEP Director Kevin Davis. “Travel may be restricted because of icy conditions, people may health issues as they cope with freezing weather and utilities may be temporarily cut off because of ice impacting power lines. Get a game plan for winter conditions. Maintain your emergency supply kits, keep generators ready in case they are needed and know what actions you, your family and your business should take.”

Winter Weather Criteria from the NWS-New Orleans Region:

Winter Weather Advisory:

Advisories issued for winter weather situations such as light snow, and light icing conditions that cause inconveniences but do not meet warning criteria and, if caution is not exercised could lead to life-threatening situations.

Winter Storm Watch:

Forecasting greater or equal to two inches of snow per event and/or ice accumulations of .25 inches or greater. Watches will be issued for the 12 to 48 hour time frame.

Winter Storm Warning:

Forecasting greater or equal to two inches of snow per event and/or ice accumulations of .25 inches or greater. Warnings will be issued up to 36 hours prior to the event.

Ice Storm Warning:

Forecasting freezing rain/drizzle with ice accumulations of .25 inches or greater.  Warnings will be up to 36 hours prior to the event.

     GOHSEP will also be sharing winter weather information on Twitter @GOHSEP and on Facebook: Louisiana Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. Emergency alerts are available on most smartphones and tablets by downloading the new ALERT FM App.

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