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Being prepared for winter

After Mother Nature walloped us with snow Sunday and Monday, we got our second reminder of the season that winter comes every year. Here in the Upper Ohio Valley, that generally means snow, icy roads and also driveways and sidewalks that need to be shoveled.

As we got cleaned out from the latest storm, surely many households resolved to be better prepared in terms of having shovels, salt and ice scrapers at the ready; and all the gloves, scarves and boots dug out from the closet. But going through our second winter while also in the midst of a pandemic, we have learned other lessons — whether they be called upon because of illness or inclement weather.

We know now that remote learning and working is possible — and for more people than we realized. Schools and businesses that were able to pivot to operating remotely at the start of the pandemic now have that ability when it is needed again under other circumstances, such as when roads are unsafe for travel.

When Belmont or Monroe County are on a Level 2 snow emergency, as they were Sunday and Monday, that means roads are dangerous, and drivers should stay off of them. Employers now know many of their employees are able to do their jobs remotely without putting themselves in danger. No one should have to put their lives at risk to get the job done.

The storm was a good reminder to have a small stock of food and necessities on hand in case of being snowed in for a day or two. The same goes for water and medications. Being prepared can help us avoid the shelf-clearing panic some stores saw this past weekend.

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