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NCR News and Information

Winter has Officially Begun

Friday, Dec. 21, marks the official start of winter. And it brings with it temperatures in the 40s for the National Capital Region, as well as high/gusty winds through the weekend, with wind gusts of up to 55 mph expected tomorrow.


With the anticipated high winds, take a few minutes today to take some precautions:

  • - Bring in unsecured objects from patios and balconies and secure outdoor objects such as lawn furniture, grills or garbage cans that could blow away and cause damage or injury.
  • - Don't forget outdoor holiday decorations. Secure, or bring inside, any outdoor holiday items that are not securely attached.
  • - If you have some time today or early tomorrow morning, remove any dead trees or overhanging branches near structures, loose roofing materials and objects in yards, patios, roofs or balconies that could blow away.
  • - Strong winds can make driving difficult, especially for those driving high profile vehicles and anyone driving across bridges and overpasses. If you're on the road, maintain a firm grip on the wheel and keep a safe distance between vehicles.


As you begin your winter preparedness, be sure to print out a copy of the National Weather Service publication (PDF) “Winter Storms: The Deceptive Killers” for information on how you can stay safe during the winter. In addition, add the following supplies to your emergency kit:

  • - Rock salt or more environmentally safe products to melt ice on walkways. Visit the Environmental Protection Agency for a complete list of recommended products.
  • - Sand to improve traction.
  • - Snow shovels and other snow removal equipment.
  • - Sufficient heating fuel. You may become isolated in your home and regular fuel sources may be cut off. Store a good supply of dry, seasoned wood for your fireplace or wood-burning stove.
  • - Adequate clothing and blankets to keep you warm.


You'll also want to winterize your home and vehicles, and take a few minute to become familiar with winter weather terms (such as Winter Storm Watch and Winter Storm Warning) and what they mean for your preparedness. Learn more about winter weather prepredness online from


Finally, here's some additional tips on what to do to be safe this winter from the American Red Cross (video below).





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The National Capital Region (NCR) is a collection of sovereign jurisdictions, including cities, counties, states and the District of Columbia. This website and the efforts of the region's communicators and public information officers will focus on regional collaboration between the region's homeland security partners to achieve a safe and secure National Capital Region.