Nick's Blog: The risks of winter weather in South MS

Nick's Blog: The risks of winter weather in South MS
WDAM First Alert Weather Team

PINE BELT (WDAM) - Winter weather doesn't happen often in south Mississippi, but when it does, it can seem like life comes to a stop. A few inches of snow, a coating of ice, even just cold temperatures can put you and your family at risk in south Mississippi.

So get prepared now.

Friday is day five of Severe Weather Preparedness Week.

During the winter, make sure you have a flashlight with extra batteries, blankets, extra food and water, medicine and first aid supplies, a way to create heat - like firewood, or a portable propane heater and your NOAA weather radio with you at home.

A similar set of gear should be in the car, too, in case you get stranded.

When cold weather is in the forecast, always remember the four p's: People, pets, pipes and plants.

Check on folks that may not have access to continuous heat. Don't let pets stay outside overnight, or for extended periods of time. Cover any exposed pipes. And bring any plants in that can't handle the cold.

If you must drive during frozen conditions, remember to slow down and give some extra space between you and the car in front of you. Ease back on the braking, too.

Most times we get freezing rain and sleet here, not snow. So that four-wheel drive won't help. But slowing down will.

Going to be out in the cold? Dress for it!

When the temperature dips below the 40-degree mark wear multiple layers of loose-fitting clothing including an outer layer that is tightly-woven and water-resistant. Try to put on a hat and gloves, too.