The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia


October 10, 2013

It's coming

We can feel it creeping up on us, step by step by step. Soon it will reach out its spiky fingers to tap us on the shoulder and maybe breathe its frosty breath on our neck.

We’re frightened. We try to hold it back. But it’s inevitable.

Is it the ghost of Halloweens past? Some spooky ghoul from the grave? A zombie doing zumba?

No. For some, it’s even worse — it’s, it’s, it’s ... Winter!

Oh, come on, you say, it can’t be that bad.

Others say, oh, yes, it can!

That’s why, as we reported Wednesday, about  the West Virginia Division of Highways, you must be prepared.

The DOH invited media into its inner sanctum this week so we could show you how it gets ready for winter.

Workers put the plows and spreaders on the trucks and make sure they are calibrated properly to lay down the correct amount of ice-melting material on the roadways.

They take stock of those materials and they communicate with the weather folks — and read the Old Farmer’s Almanac — to try to get an early grip on just what the cold season will bring.

By the time those first flakes fall, the trucks, the plows and their drivers will be ready to attack the slick highways to help keep you safe.

All of us could take a page out of the DOH’s playbook and prepare now for the winter to come.

Check your anti-freeze and your tires. Make sure the latter have enough tread to keep you moving on snow-covered roads.

Get your emergency kit ready in case you get stranded. Keep it stocked with a blanket, flashlight, snacks, water and whatever else you might need.

Refresh your winter-driving skills by studying how to react when you skid, are stuck in a drift or find yourself facing another hazard.

Also make sure your home is winterproof and that you have the needed supplies on hand to dig out from a heavy snow or enough food, medicine and other supplies to hunker down and wait out the storm.

Winter isn’t so bad — if you like cold, red noses and freezing ears.

And remember, spring is, well, if not just around the corner, hovering temptingly just out of reach!

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