Emergency preparedness staff at Child Care Aware® of America are keeping a close eye on the weather. Based on the latest forecast models, the potential for a severe winter storm, starting this Friday, is very likely. Child Care Aware® of America staff have been in contact with our emergency management colleagues in Virginia, Maryland and D.C. We will continue to monitor the storm and the latest information. If you have questions or need assistance, please feel free to email us. We also encourage you to visit your local and state emergency management agencies websites for the latest information:
- Virginia Department of Emergency Management
- Washington, D.C. – Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency
- Maryland Emergency Management Agency
First Blizzard Watch of 2016 for the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast Issued
The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard warning for the Washington, D.C., and Baltimore region. The warning is valid Friday afternoon through Sunday. The updated models are predicting 24-30 inches of heavy, wet, snow for the DC area. Snowfall is likely to begin late Friday afternoon.
The winter storm will be accompanied by heavy winds. The strongest winds and highest potential for life threatening conditions are expected Friday night through Saturday night. Due to the wet snow and high winds, power outages and roof collapses are expected.
- WATCH = winter storm is possible in your area
- ADVISORY = conditions are expected to cause major delays and may be hazardous
- WARNING = winter storm is occurring or will occur soon in your area
Now is the Time to Prepare for the Winter Storm
The winter storm is expected to begin on late Friday afternoon. During the Friday evening commute, conditions are likely to be dangerous, with limited visibility due to high winds and heavy snowfall. In addition, the low pressure system will occur during a full moon, adding to the potential for coastal flooding along parts of the Atlantic coast.
Individuals in the blizzard watch area should review their winter storm plans and stay informed about weather conditions. Plan accordingly, as this system is predicted to last more than 36 hours – starting Friday and extending into Sunday.
Here are a few tips to prepare child care facilities:
- Communicate with your parents and staff about your plans for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
- If you are planning to provide services, consider asking parents to provide extra clothing for children.
- Prepare for possible power loss.
- Review policies and procedures regarding communication with staff, children, and parents.
- Review policies and procedures governing suspending, delaying, relocating or canceling operations due to weather and power outages.
- Become familiar with your current insurance policy. Ensure it covers damage from severe weather.
- There are several resources to include children in your preparation efforts for severe weather.
We have enjoyed a very moderate winter so far this year, with many days of above-normal temperatures. The next few days will certainly be a shift from this trend, and may catch many off-guard. Fortunately, we have the luxury of advance warning of this storm. Take time to prepare now and ensure you are ready for this potentially severe storm.