The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

October 30, 2012

Lend a helping hand if you can

Stay calm, use common sense while riding the storm out

— By the time you read this today, the magnitude and wrath of this potentially historic storm will be a little more well defined.

All of the forecasts are bad. Rain, heavy snow, high winds, blizzard conditions, icing, flooding, dicey roads, downed trees and the dreaded nail — widespread power outages.

Frankenstorm, the Perfect Storm, whatever the label, millions of people spread across the Atlantic seaboard and as far inland as Ohio and Pennsylvania, will suffer the effects in varying degrees.

In this region, depending upon the elevation where you live, the snowfall could be significant. Six inches to 2-1/2 are possible.

We hope that the advance warning spurred people into action late last week. A check of many stores throughout the region leads us to believe that most folks heeded the message of being prepared — that and being just four months removed from the derecho that ripped through our region and created chaos for several days.

However, unlike dealing without power during blistering heat, this situation presents a different challenge.

If we find ourselves without power again, cold, blustery, snowy conditions can quickly create life threatening circumstances.

And while we would never suggest that anyone put themselves at risk, if you can assist neighbors or others in this time of crisis please do so.

Check on the elderly and those who have disabilities of one sort or another.

If power does go out and you have a medical condition or other problems that require you to leave wherever you are hunkered down, don’t wait before getting to a functioning shelter.

Emergency officials, first responders and power crews are at the ready.

Whatever takes place, the best plan is to use common sense, stay calm and warm.

The long range forecast puts the temperatures in the mid 60s later next week.

In the meantime, we’ll all be riding the storm out.