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Winter Storm Planning

When Winter Brings Disaster

Ice and snow storms can cripple a community in several different ways. Here is a list of problems that winter storms can bring:

  • Power and communications disrupted because of downed lines (power outages).
  • Highways and roads closed (chemical delivery stops, employees miss work).
  • Ice may damage water infrastructure and make work conditions hazardous.
  • Floods may be associated with the storm.
  • Difficulty in obtaining medical care (unable to get to hospital - ambulances blocked by snow-covered roads).
  • Fire and police delayed in responding to emergencies.
  • Businesses closed (but not the water system).

You can plan for these events. Having backup power generators, a chemical inventory, and interconnections with neighboring systems can make a big difference in the severity of your emergency. Don't forget to top off your storage tanks! Tell your customers to fill clean containers with drinking water and tubs with water for flushing.

Current Information

The most current national information about storms is maintained by the National Storm Prediction Center. You can have weather advisories forwarded to your cell phone from this site. You can also get links to access the page from your web-enabled phone to get the whole story while you are on-the-go.

Winter Storm Planning

Emergency Planning Guidance

Winter Storms are capable of engaging many organizations in one emergency response. The National Incident Management System and the Incident Command System are needed to effectively work with the incident response personnel from other organizations. Holding tabletop exercises as part of your preparedness planning is recommended to test the effectiveness of your plan and your internal and external emergency communications. Joining N.C. WaterWARN would be one step that could give you a real advantage in re-starting your system after a winter storm.