Two weeks from the spring equinox in the northern hemisphere and the Atlantic region of the U.S is still being pummeled by harsh winter snowstorms. The unforgiving cold and snow have not abated in much of the northeastern parts of the U.S and many states are still very much experiencing emergency weather conditions. The Washington D.C region alone was hit with a snow and ice storm recently that has once again crippled the greater metro area–closing businesses, complicating transportation, and affecting residents with polar temperatures. Air and ground transit has been compromised in many cities and conditions remain consistently bad.
The sustained winter weather in the eastern U.S is a reminder that individual and city/state wide preparation year round is absolutely essential. The near constant barrage of polar temperatures and snowstorms across the northeast, midwest, and deep south have caught many regions off guard and served as a powerful indicator of the havoc this kind of weather has on infrastructure and livelihoods. To take the example of the freeze that hit the deep south, most residents were completely unprepared to address the effects of such cold weather. On a city and state level, as well, resources were inadequate at best.
While the Atlantic region and other parts of the northeastern U.S are more accustomed to harsh winter storms, the consequences of the brutal snowstorms and arctic temperatures have taken their toll on business, transit, and everyday life. From widespread power outages and road closures to paralyzing snow and ice, formulating an emergency plan and knowing where to turn for resources in responding to an emergency situation is very important. Even as the seasons slowly transition, the risk of severe weather remains a constant. Hopefully the snowstorms end, but disaster preparedness continues.
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