The winter season is upon us; it officially begins on Thursday, December 21st, 2023, and runs through March 19th, 2024. With it will come the usual conditions, including cold temperatures and snow, as well as some extreme ones, such as subzero windchills, blizzards, and ice storms. FEMA recognizes the risks associated with winter weather and urges preparedness through its first-ever #WinterReady Campaign.

The #WinterReady Campaign makes resources available to help the nation stand more resilient, secure, and prepared in the face of the cold months ahead. Available in English and Spanish, the campaign provides easy, low-cost tips addressing several common winter weather worries for individuals and the community. These include but are not limited to travel, heating, power outages, and fire. “Harsh winters are not only a concern for states in the far north — blizzards, extreme cold, and the damage to our critical infrastructure that these conditions can cause today threaten every community, everywhere across our nation,” recently said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “An ounce of prevention today is worth a pound of cure tomorrow.” 

Preparation and Planning are Key

Public and private-sector organizations have long dealt with the effects of Mother Nature. They have prepared for, responded to, mitigated against, and recovered from all types of natural disasters and problematic weather events. Winter-related ones are no exception. 

Winter weather brings a long list of risks that can be reduced or avoided altogether with proper preparation and planning. Among them are: 

– Health concerns, such as frostbite, hypothermia, or worse, death

– Transportation issues, which can leave people stranded on roadways, in airports, at train stations, etc. 

– Power failures and plummeting temperatures, resulting in significant damage to vital equipment (especially computers)

– Frozen pipes and/or water sprinklers, leading to extensive water damage 

– Roof damage, or even roof collapse, due to heavy ice, snow, and high winds

– Workplace injuries to employees, visitors, and others, possibly leading to litigation

– Office closures or altered business hours, causing loss of revenue

One or any combination of these winter weather risks has the potential to disrupt people’s lives and an organization’s operations and to do so indefinitely. For this reason, BOLDplanning, like FEMA, encourages everyone to be #WinterReady and have plans in place. This includes emergency operations (EOP) and/or continuity of operations (COOP) plans for businesses, hospitals, government agencies, and others. 

As a recent FEMA news release explained, “Communities across the nation experience severe weather in different ways, face unique risks, and have varying levels of infrastructure or experience to handle extreme weather events. Increases in anomalous winter weather in the South and more frequent winter storms, including lake-effect snowstorms in the Northeast, are increasing vulnerabilities for these communities. The #WinterReady tools and resources can help keep them safe.” 

So, too, can the BOLDplanning platform. It’s the solution of choice for more than 10,000 organizational (emergency, continuity, and hazard mitigation) plans nationwide. Let us give you the confidence and peace of mind in knowing your public- or private-sector organization is ready for any critical event, including harsh winter weather. Contact us today at <