Winter weather in and around Schuylkill County Pennsylvania
Because of the unique geographic characteristics of Schuylkill County, the weather may vary greatly from far west, north of the mountain, in the south or along the I-81 corridor.
Winter is always a time for extreme caution in Schuylkill County. From massive snowstorms, which brought the entire county to a standstill, to the Saint Valentine's Day Mass-of-cars on Interstate 81 in February 2007, being prepared for the worse is always the your best defense. If you are a resident, please be aware of regulations relating to parking during winter storm events. Though SCEMA has asked often, some municipalities continue to refer to a "STATE OF EMERGENCY" when they actually mean they are enacting a "Snow Emergency", which may restrict parking on certain routes to allow for emergency vehicle traffic or to allow the public works department to effectively clear snow from public roadways.
Winter storms create a higher risk of car accidents, hypothermia, frostbite, carbon monoxide poisoning, and heart attacks from overexertion. Winter storms and blizzards can bring extreme cold, freezing rain, snow, ice, and high winds. The instances of power interruptions and utility failures rise with downed lines, inaccessible areas and dangerous travel conditions. Awareness and preparedness at home, at work and while traveling are important steps to insuring the safety of you and your family.
IF YOU ARE UNDER A WINTER STORM WARNING, FIND SHELTER RIGHT AWAY
- Stay off roads.
- Stay indoors and dress warmly.
- Shelters or Warming Centers may be set up in your local area. Check with your municipality or local municipal coordinator for additional information.
- Prepare for power outages.
- When using a generator during a power outage, you must insure that your unit does not back-feed the utility incoming line, as this creates a dangerous condition for utility personnel.
- Protect yourself and family from Carbon Monoxide poisoning by keeping the generator outside and away from windows and doors.
- Have a battery powered Carbon Monoxide detector and change the batteries every six months.
- Listen for emergency information and alerts.
- Look for signs of hypothermia and frostbite.
- Check on neighbors and elderly family members.
HOW TO STAY SAFE WHEN A WINTER STORM THREATENS
- Winter storms in Schuylkill County can bring massive snowfalls, thick ice accumulations, sleet and freezing rain.
- Travel can be very dangerous, if you must travel, create an emergency supply kit for your car. Include jumper cables, sand, a flashlight, warm clothes, blankets, bottled water, and non-perishable snacks.
- Check road conditions via local media outlets, social media and 511PA.
- Prepare for conditions that may confine you to your home for several days. Consider specific needs, such as medications. Remember your pets. Have extra batteries for radios and flashlights.
- Know where shelters are likely to be in operation.
- Sign up for Schuylkill Alert, your county’s warning system.
- The Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) can be received through you cellular phone if you are in areas under a warning. Please insure that the alert feature is not de-activated on your device.
- The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts. If your community has sirens, then become familiar with the warning tone.
- Many media outlets also feature mobile alerts to your smart phone, consider signing up for the service.
Additional safety measures can be found at https://www.ready.gov.