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Preparing for the first winter storm of year

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Lancaster snow enthusiasts will not have to wait long for the first winter storm of the New Year. Forecasters are predicting a moderate to major snowstorm for Thursday and Friday. Lancaster should see significant snowfall.

American forecast models are predicting a more moderate storm stretching from Baltimore up the coast to Boston dumping three to six inches of snow in its path. The European model, called simply the euro, however is predicting a major storm stretching from Northern Virginia up past Boston to include Maine.

The euro, according to S & S Storm Chasing, shows snowfall in Pennsylvania will range from four inches to just over 11 inches. Lancaster County looks to expect just over six inches of snow. The northeast part of Maine will be the worst hit, with over a foot of snow expected.

The National Weather Service (NWS) predicts a chance of light snow on Wednesday, New Year Day for Lancaster. Thursday there is a 50% chance of snow. Friday will see a slight chance of additional snow showers. The NWS however does not yet include any estimated amounts.

Eric Horst, meteorologist at the Weather Information Center at Millersville University, is predicting a “plowable snowfall” for the Northeast region. However, Horst is currently predicating Lancaster to see more of a snow-mix storm.

Power outages

Often during snow and ice storms power outages are caused when the extra weight on tree limbs cause those limbs to break and fall onto power lines. If you lose power, report the outage by calling 1-800-DIAL-PPL (342-5775) or visiting our online Outage Center at www.pplelectric.com/outage. PPL relies on customers to tell them about outages.

Preparing for winter storms

Preparing for winter storms does not have to be costly. Keep a supply of non perishable foods and fresh water. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and other preparedness sites, suggests maintaining a three day supply per person. Again this does not have to be expensive. Look at your pantry. Can you make it three days without running to the store? If so, you are set!

Make sure you have a snow shovel in your car. Cat litter is good to have on hand as well. If you slide off the road or get stuck, the cat litter – poured at your tires – gives the car traction to get moving again. In addition when the cat litter is in the trunk, it gives you extra weight in the trunk. Rock salt and sand also works. Cat litter, especially if you have cats, is the least expensive. Simply buy an extra bag or tub of your feline’s favorite brand and leave it in your trunk. When you use it – be it for the cat or the car – simply replace.

Be sure you have extra blankets and warm clothes. Dress in layers. Bring in outdoor pets. Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio or other local news for information specific to your area. For more tips on preparing for extreme cold, visit the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

Upcoming Events & Information Request

Lancaster City is located in South Central Pennsylvania. Home to over 60,000 people, it is the County Seat. Do you have an upcoming event or information that would interest the Lancaster community? If so, please email Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman at jeanne.eckman@comcast.net.

Subscribe to get free, instant updates on preparedness on Examiner.com. If you would like to write on prepping issues affecting your community, please go to http://exm.nr/MzOl5q.

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