Valley Woman Prepares for the Worst Case Winter Scenario

By: Dave Byknish Email
By: Dave Byknish Email

WAYNESBORO, Va -- Rose Skidmore is no stranger to dealing with some of the most harsh winter weather conditions. She came to Virginia from upstate New York several years ago.

“Our first winter in New York we had almost 300 inches of snow. You learn fast when that's what you get the first time,” said Skidmore.

One of the most important things she learned to do was plan ahead. From having the snow blower ready to planning a month's worth of meals well in advance.

“That's the big thing because everybody runs to the store and you're out of bread. You're out of milk. You're out of everything. I have meals planned all the way through the end of this year to the first of the year.”

Skidmore even went as far as winterizing her windows and doors before the temperatures dropped.

While you might not think that particular technique is for you, it is important to have the essentials like water, radios and blankets stashed away just in case.

“You don't have to buy them all at once; you can buy them a little at a time. Get yourself a big Rubbermaid tote and pack it all away in it and you've got it there ready to go in the event that there is a crisis,” said Emergency Services Director in Waynesboro Gary Critzer.

Simple items you pick up at most stores can go a long way towards keeping your house warm, which helps avoid other potential risks that come with winter.

“The minute people start lighting off their fireplace, we start running into chimney fires,” said Bob Donaldson, a firefighter, “That means there's build up in the chimney. Make sure that's taken care of. The biggest thing we run into with portable heaters and fireplaces, that there's enough space around them.”

Skidmore said that the key to surviving a harsh winter is staying calm and remembering the key points you already know.

“It's common sense,” said Skidmore, “You keep your driveways cleaned. You wait until they've come down. If you've got to go out, put some weight in the back of your car if you need to. Don't go out if you don't have to, and if you do, just be careful.

Gov. McDonnell announced that next week is Winter Preparedness Week. It is a perfect time to make your own plans that will keep your family safe this winter season. is happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules:

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