MOUNDSVILLE, W.Va. (WTRF) — Yesterday’s snowfall was a wake-up call that winter isn’t waiting to make itself known.

But it’s also a chance to consider how a more severe storm could affect our ability to leave the house—or even turn on the lights.

Marshall County’s Emergency Management Director Tom Hart says it can show up before Halloween—with significant snowfall by the time we sit down to Thanksgiving dinner.

We’re in the middle of Winter Weather Awareness Week in West Virginia, which means it’s time to do a few tasks before serious weather hits.

Check your heating system, like your furnace or even your fireplace.

Winterize your vehicle, which inclues looking at your antifreeze and air pressure in your tires.
You can also be ready for long-term power outages.

For many people this means having a portable generator, but Hart says to make sure you run it at a safe distance so the fumes don’t go inside your house.

Last year one of the biggest issues was the trees coming down because of all the ice. Trees were coming down, taking out power lines, and then in some cases we had where power lines had been restored and then more trees would come down and take out where they had done repairs on power lines.

Tom Hart, Marshall County EMA Director

And even when you have an idea of how much will come down, it’s not always certain how fast it will come.

Hart says steep grade roads like Fork Ridge and Roberts Ridge are that much more dangerous after just a couple hours of snowfall.

Finally, do you know what you would need if you couldn’t leave the house for a few days?

Ready.gov/build-a-kit will help you build an emergency kit while the roads are still clear.