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Winter weather a reminder to prepare

After Mother Nature walloped us with snow Sunday and Monday, we got our second reminder of the season that winter comes every year. Here in the Mid-Ohio Valley, that generally means snow, icy roads and driveways that need to be shoveled.

As we got cleaned out from the latest storm, surely many households resolved to be better prepared in terms of having shovels, salt and ice scrapers at the ready; and all the gloves, scarves and boots dug out from the closet.

But going through our second winter while also in the midst of a pandemic, we have learned other lessons — whether they be called upon because of illness or inclement weather.

We know now that remote learning and working is possible — and for more people than we realized. Schools and businesses that were able to pivot to operating remotely at the start of the pandemic now have that ability at the ready when it is needed again under other circumstances, such as when roads are unsafe for travel.

When Washington County is on Level 2 snow emergency, which means roads are dangerous, employers know many of their employees are able to do their jobs without putting themselves in danger. (And those employees should be ready to report remotely, of course.) No one should have to worry they are putting their lives at risk to get the job done.

Meanwhile, as we saw Monday, many of those employers whose businesses rely on in-person work DID close for the day, to keep their employees safe. (For those who have been given a remote option to work or a day off because of snow, this is not permission to be out and about checking out the winter scenery or shopping. The idea here is that the roads are unsafe, remember?)

Speaking of shopping, the storm was a good reminder to have a small stock of food and necessities on hand in case of being snowed in for a day or two. The same goes for water and medications. Being prepared can help us avoid the shelf-clearing panic some stores saw this past weekend.

If you are out on the roads, be smart about the way you drive, and courteous of others who may feel safer taking it a bit slower than you do.

We go through this every year, folks. We have a couple of months of winter ahead. We’ve learned a lot of lessons about staying safer and taking care of each other over the past year or so. Let’s remember them, so that Old Man Winter can be a little less of a headache for us all.

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