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*** The giveaway is now closed. Check back soon to see who won! ***

It is easy to forget about potential severe winter weather since Georgia typically has fairly mild winters, but don’t get left out in the cold! Take it from me, severe winter weather can strike here in the South, and being prepared is absolutely crucial. My wife and I found ourselves homebound without electricity for several days during a pounding snowstorm in 1993. Not only were we stuck, but Ronda was pregnant with our first child. Fortunately, we had everything we needed to survive — except labor and delivery items! Our porch became our refrigerator and freezer when we packed our perishable items in snow and ice and stored them out there. Luckily, Chandler waited until the storm passed to join us.

What does winter have in store for us this year? According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center, the outlook is uncertain. El Niño, which brings colder and wetter-than-average conditions, didn’t make its expected appearance, but NOAA predicts that it will arrive in some form … eventually. Don’t have confidence in the meteorologists?  That time tested, oft-quoted source of meteorological data, The Farmer’s Almanac, says that the Southeast can look forward to a wet and chilly winter.

There’s no way to know exactly what Georgia will face this winter, so it’s best to get ready for whatever might come our way. Winter Weather Awareness Week, Dec. 3 to 7, provides the perfect opportunity to prepare. Winter hazards require specific preparation, so take a few minutes to:

-Make sure your Ready kit has extra blankets and enough food and water for at least 72 hours
-Stock your car with a Ready kit, including a blanket, jumper cables and an ice scraper.
-Boost your winter weather IQ by learning the terms used to describe hazards: freezing rain, sleet, winter weather advisory, etc.

To add a bit of fun to your winter readiness, Ready Georgia is giving you a chance to win a two-night stay at Lake Blackshear Resort. (A perfect winter weekend getaway!) To enter our contest, just comment on this post with the words “I’m READY for winter weather!” and tell us:  What is the longest you’ve been stuck at home due to bad weather? Have you ever been stranded in your car? What is your “must have” item for making it through the winter? You’ll be entered in a random drawing for that Lake Blackshear getaway and a NOAA weather radio. Six other lucky folks will also take home a weather radio, courtesy of WSB-TV.

Contest details:

  • PRIZES:  Grand Prize: One NOAA weather radio and a one-night stay for two at Lake Blackshear Resort; Six runners up will each receive a NOAA Weather radio from WSB-TV
  • TO ENTER: Comment on this post with the words, “I’m READY for winter weather!” and tell us. . .
  • BONUS QUESTION(S): What is the longest you’ve been stuck at home due to bad weather? Have you ever been stranded in your car? What is your “must have” item for making it through the winter?
  • GIVEAWAY CLOSES: Sunday, December 16 at 11:59 p.m. (Eastern)
  • NUMBER OF WINNERS: One grand prize winner; six additional radio winners
  • PRIZE SHIPS: State of Georgia only
  • RULES: Open to Georgia residents only. One entry per e-mail address is permitted. The winner will be selected using random.org and notified via email.

85 Responses to “Are You Ready for Winter? Tell Us – And Win!”

  1. Jon Davis says:

    omg! of course!!
    a few years back I used to take for granted storage…. just parking the car in my fathers barn, sometimes I go so far as to cover it with a tarp. But I learned the hard way as corrosion got the underbelly pretty bad and had a mouse problem in the interior…all in the same winter! found this to help also… http://www.thinkinsure.ca/car-auto-insurance-tips/Insurance-and-Winter-Storage-Tips-for-your-Classic-Car-in-Ontario.html
    Jon D.

  2. Luanne Lawler says:

    “I’m READY for winter weather!” I love winter. Well maybe just Georgia winters where the slightest hint of ice or snow gets us excited. I have been stuck at home for 3 days years ago when we had “bad winter weather” one year and as long as I have a fireplace, and outside grill and my emergency kits, I don’t consider it getting stuck. It’s fun really. Never been stranded in my car, but after a terrific thunderstorm knocked out the lights during the summer, my family and I slept in the car just for the air conditioning. And my must have for the winter are pocket hand warmers. Love those things!

  3. Tiffany Abrams says:

    “I’m READY for winter weather!” This year we have made sure we have the things necessary to survive the winter comes our way. We are convinced we will get a rough one this year. The longest I been stuck at home was 2 days, due to horrible road conditions. Luckily I’ve never been stranded in the car, but I think we would be ok in a situation like that. My “must have” item for the winter is a nice warm fireplace and some got chocolate!

  4. Janice Marie says:

    “I’m ready for winter weather.” We are ready! All our duties to prepare for winter are taken care of! Now to hope the weather stays mild until we can enjoy the rays of summer again. But, if it doesn’t, i will be prepared!

  5. Jason Dixon says:

    “I’m ready for winter weather.” Of course all of the preparation around the house has to be done. Pipes are wrapped, furnace is serviced, cars are checked, plants are taken in and so forth. We normally have pretty mild winters, but we always set aside supplies for the just in case. Sometimes we do have severe storms. But, winter time means Christmas time is coming and I spend just as much time on decorating our yard with thousands of lights! Our little guy loves drinking hot chocolate and watching the Christmas lights!

  6. Janice Dixon says:

    “I’m ready for winter weather.” We have fairly mild winters, but still preparation is needed. Especially when we have a hodgepodge family of furry friends, rescued throughout the years! We have to situate all our animals for the winter months, particuarly the ones that live outside. Time for our doggies to have warm hay beds and insulated houses. They love the fresh hay! As avid gardners, all our plants have to be readied for winter. That is an enjoyable, yet hard task. Even with all of these extras, we always remember to prepare our RV for winter storage and ready our cars for wintertime. We have a stockpile of supplies in case needed during power outages ans an alternative heat source. Also, many fun winter activities planned!!!

  7. June Morrissey says:

    We are ready for anything that may come. We do alot of camping in our travel trailer and could live in it for a couple of weeks if we had to.
    It is stocked with food, water and all the necessities. We were stuck in an apartment many years ago during a weeklong ice storm with only a fireplace to keep us warm, That was really roughing it! Hopefully, this will be a mild winter like last year but we are prepared, just in case!

  8. Rekha says:

    I’m READY for winter weather! We have our kit packed and enough food to last us a while (though we might get bored of pasta). The longest I’ve been stuck at home was five days in the 2010 snowstorm. We live in an apartment that is down a hill. The melted and refrozen snow turned to ice on the road and only people with huge 4 wheel drive trucks could get out. We watched SUVs try to climb the hill, only to start losing ground inch by inch. Our compact cars would be no match for the hill. Luckily, our power stayed on and I had tons of food in the house (I was even prepared for the power to cut and had stored extra water and precooked some meals). We just ate out the fridge/pantry and watched the chaos on the large road we could see from our window. Of course we went and played in the snow with the dog too!

    Thankfully, I have never been stuck in my car. I do have a mini kit in there, just in case, but I hope it never comes to that.

    My “must have” winter item is a good, warm, waterproof coat. I get cold easy, so a good outer layer is essential to me!

  9. Rachel Crews says:

    I’m READY for winter weather! I’ve never been stuck at home during a winter storm . But in January 2011 I was stuck at work for 3 days. I had heard the anticipation of sow and packed several changes of clothes, shower stuff, and snacks to keep with me (I’m a nurse and the hospital never closes.) My daughter was 2.5 years old and spent the entire time with my mother in law. She had enough diapers for a week plus a ton of changes in clothes (and always her blankie). And you have to have hour chocolate!

  10. Chris Batten says:

    I am read. We have flash lights,food stored,sleeping bags,water stored,generator.

  11. Leona Chubay says:

    I’m READY for winter weather!
    In 1993 during the snowstorm, we were stuck at home without power for 7 days and couldn’t get out. Our son was only 10 months old. We slept on the couch with him cuddled in the middle to keep him warm. We felt lucky he was so young as he didn’t keep wanting to go outside and get wet and try to keep warm. We used the fireplace for heat and lived in the living room. Luckily we had a gas stove so we were able to cook. It was also useful to heat what water we had (we melted snow alot). It also helped by leaving the burners on and keeping the kitchen warmer. We kept our food outside to keep cold and the frozen foods frozen. We have a well so we had no running water. You truly feel like a pioneer. During the other big previous snowstorm we had, it took me 2-1/2 hours to get home when it usually took me 15 minutes. Also, in 1977, after a visit to New York to see our family, we were returning to Georgia. We got stuck in the mountains in northern Pennsylvania for 12 hours until the snowplows could come and dig us all out. Must have items for us include candles, lanterns, flashlights with extra batteries, easy-to-fix foods, emergency blankets, sleeping bags, extra-warm clothing, water, water, water, lots of firewood. Did I mention water? Having a well,
    it’s amazing how much you take water for granted until you’re without it. You don’t realize how much you need it to wash your hands, wash dishes, brush your teeth, cook, flush the toilet, etc.

  12. Judith Adair says:

    I’m ready for winter weather. I am stocked up on candles and a lighter, flashlights, batteries and bulbs, canned and boxed food and a manual and battery can opener, extra dog food, extra birdseed, kitty litter for my steps, bottled water, a weather radio, chemical hand and foot warmers, lotsa blankets and a list of neighbors to call and check on. I am an older woman and I won’t go on ice anymore, but I can still enjoy the snow. I keep a camera handy to capture the awe and beauty of Mother Nature. Hugs, Georgia! Let’s safely enjoy our winter, come what may.

  13. Marty Wildes says:

    “I’m READY for winter weather!” Born and raised in Northern Wisconsin, I was never stranded in the winter until moving South. I was stranded once in San Antonio for 3 days during an ice/snow storm of 14″. Then again during the ice storm in Atlanta in the early 2000s, stuck at home for 3 days. Luckily, I’ve never been stranded in my car. A must-have item for Georgia winters seems to be light sources for the house. I’m not driving in bad weather due to the other drivers, we have a gas fireplace and stove. But if the power goes out, we need light.

  14. Kenya says:

    I’m READY for winter weather! The longest I’ve been stuck at home due to bad weather was for one week; I was attending college in 1993. Thankfully there were other students with snacks and a little bit of creativity. I’ve never been stuck in a car but I’m well prepared in case I am stuck. My family is well prepared for anything (almost) but my must have item for making it through the winter is food.

  15. debbie lee says:

    I am ready for winter!!! I have a fireplace and plenty of firewood. I am well-stocked on canned food and drinks. I have an insert with a ledge that I can cook on like old times!!! I have never been stranded in my car. I keep my cars filled with gas in case of an emergency. I do not venture out when the weather is bad. The longest we were without power was about 4 days. It was rather peaceful!!!! No TV!!! Very little Traffic!!!! PEACE AND QUIET FOR A CHANGE!!!

  16. Olivia Edwards says:

    I’m READY for winter weather! The ice and snow in 2010 was the first time we’ve been stuck at home. We were stuck for four days – at the time, we lived on top of a hill that had no direct sunlight so the ice just wouldn’t melt. We were thankful to not lose power. As native Floridians, that was an eye-opening experience for us. Now that we know better, we keep our pantry stocked throughout the winter in case we can’t get out. During the awful thunderstorms of 2011, we had no power for almost a week. We were fortunate enough to move our perishables to a friend’s freezer and relied on the kindness of our family to let us take hot showers at their homes. We kept plenty of flashlights, candles, matches, and batteries on hand for such situations. We also keep good books and board games around to keep the boredom at bay.

  17. DAVINA HENSON says:

    I’m GA. Ready for winter weather(Bring it on).Only been stranded for 2 days without power,was prepared then and am prepared now.Never been stuck in my car,don’t venture out when conditions are risque.Best thing ever we installed a propane fireplace with a 50 gallon tank to stay warm during the winter.Flashlight and batteries,water,non perishable foods,blankets and warm clothes.

  18. Jeff Cundiff says:

    I’m READY for winter weather! I have only been stranded at home for a day or so, thankgoodness. I was stranded in my car a couple of years ago, during the December ice storm, I-75 was closed and I spent 9 hours in my car getting home. My must have items would be water, snacks and a blanket in the car. For home it would be wood for the fireplace, water and canned food.

  19. Hally Ryan says:

    I’m ready for winter weather. The longest I’ve been stranded at home is a couple of days…but that was several years ago. Never been stranded in a car. My essential items are food and water (for pets too), a portable generator, extra blankets, battery lamps and extra batteries, non-electric grill, playing cards, cleaning wipse, and an emergency kit.

  20. Gary Morgan says:

    Yes, my family and I are ready for whatever the weather winter might put on us this year. We made it throught the 1993 blizzard. I did not believe it was going to get that bad. Its the first time I heard thunder during a snow storm. We had gas heat and agas grill
    that we used to cook on for about 4 days till our power was back on. Now we are ready again this winter with the gas grill and 2 bottles of gas and pently of blankets flashlights and batteries, water and canned food. Winter come on we are READY for you.

  21. Debra Cook says:

    I’m ready for winter weather. We have plenty of firewood cut and cabinets are full with food and water. I’ve never been stranded in a car. I don’t venture out in a car if theres snow and ice. People in Georgia don’t do well with driving in the snow so it’s best to just stay at home. I have been stuck at home for about a day without power. Thank goodness for the fire place. The one thing I wouldn’t want to be without this winter would be firewood for the fire place. It provides a source of heat, light and a place to cook.

  22. Michelle Freeman says:

    I’m READY for winter weather! The longest I have been stuck at home during bad weather was one year when we had an ice storm. We didn’t have power or water (we had a well) for a whole week! I believe it was in the 80′s. Luckily, we had a wood burning stove for heat but it was expecially hard not having water. You tend to take those things for granted until you don’t have them! I have never been stranded in my car. I usually keep up with the weather reports and try to stay off the roads if possible. The most important things for me to have for the winter would be some other source of heat that does not require electricity such as a kerosene heater, plenty of water and flashlights and batteries.

  23. Sondra Vaughn says:

    I’m READY for winter weather! The longest I have been stranded is 3 days, without power. The fireplace was our heat, cooked in iron pots and oil lamps kept the house lit. Now, I keep a bug out pack in my car, with a few days of food and water and first aid kit. There are two heavy coats, extra socks and gloves and hats with the bag and a walkie talkie in case my phone does not get service. At home we have oil and battery lamps, spare batteries, wood for the fireplace and woodstove and our important paperwork in a waterproof pack.

  24. LISA BENTLEY says:

    I’m READY for winter weather! I was once straned at home for three days, but I had my six dogs to keep me warm! They were always there for me!! That is why the items I need the most to survive in winter are for them first- their food and water, then I take care of myself-food and water. Fortunately, I have never been stranded in my car, but I do keep an emergency kit in my car just in case!

  25. JoEllen Mack says:

    “I am ready for Winter Weather!” We have really enjoyed this site and have realized the importance of being prepared. It actually came in so handy when we had the snow/ice storm last year and lost power. We had a storage container filled with our basic readiness and some extras. A readiness container is such a great idea and not just for bad weather but for any emergency! Thank you so much for the awesome ideas and suggestions-praying that more people will take a serious look at this and realize the importance! Just in case????

  26. Maggie Herrmann says:

    I’m ready for winter weather. I think a day or two is the most I have ever been stuck at home because of winter weather. Fortunately, I’ve never been stranded in my car, but I leave a blanket in there just to be safe! My must have item is long johns!

  27. james arpad says:

    I’m ready for winter weather. We have plenty of firewood for heating and cooking if the electricity goes out, and lots of canned foods and boxed milk and juices and dry foodstuffs with plenty of bottled water, in case all utilities go out and the roads become impassable to go shopping.

  28. Dorothy Kirk says:

    I’m ready for the Winter Weather. The longest I have been stuck at home due to the winter weather is no day. I am an adventurous but safe person and we have worked around the GA winter weather. We have never been stranded in the car, thank goodness. Must have item to make it through the winter is a good book and some games.

  29. Kerry Roberts says:

    At the end of Halloween I bought all the break sticks (lights) so I could stock my kit, my car glove box, and one in my pocket book. I looked silly at checkout, but I want when I need them.

  30. Cheri Prescott says:

    I’m READY for winter weather!
    BONUS QUESTION(S): What is the longest you’ve been stuck at home due to bad weather? Growing up in Chicago, we had frequent blizzards. In 1978 I shared an apartment with my best friend. We were snow-bound for 8 days! Fortunately, her parents had snowmobiles and used them to deliver much needed care packages to us!
    Have you ever been stranded in your car? Again, in Chicago! (Why do you think I moved to Georgia?? LOL) I was stranded with my 2 year old son for about 6 hours on an expressway. Fortunately I had plenty of high protein snacks and drinks in the car and always had emergency supplies like blankets, empty coffee can and candle with matches (to melt snow to drink if needed) another empty can to use in case we drank too much water ;) a shovel and cat litter to use as traction in the trunk.
    What is your “must have” item for making it through the winter? For creature comfort it would be my flannel pj’s and hot chocolate! For safety, I still keep extra blankets, gloves, hats, etc in the trunk of my car along with flashlights and other emergency gear. You can take the girl out of Chicago but not Chicago out of the girl!

  31. Denis Ference says:

    I’m ready for winter weather. Some of the things that I have include: flashlights, long storage foods, water, non-electric cooking grill. Sleeping bags and cold weather wear.

  32. Amy Bacon says:

    “I’m READY for winter weather!” Being a Scoutmaster for several years now, learning and teaching my Scouts about disasters and survival in all types of weather including cold in which our coldest camp out in which we earned our “Cold Weather Badge” brings back memories of a camp fire and numbers of pairs of feet around a campfire with the temperature of 17 degrees. I know we have had to stay home from school but we have never been in bad weather other than snow and the forecasters telling us to stay off the roads but not secluded to our homes. Although my boys know what it means to BE PREPARED for anything. My favorite item or item I could not do without my flashlight w/batteries. Many camping trips even around my home have we been without power that I needed light. Now I even have one on my phone. I keep a flashlight in my purse, van, at home in several locations. There are a lot of things you need to have to be prepared for winter weather and preparations but you don’t want to do any of them without lighting. Happy Trails