GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – “We usually see something each year,” said Erik Heden, warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Newport, NC, alluding to the threat for winter weather in the East.

Officials urge that now is the time to make sure you’re ready for winter weather.

“We usually have a little bit of snow or a little bit of ice,” added Heden.

“We encourage people to have their emergency kit at home that has things like their flashlight, their batteries, a hand crank radio, a charger,” said Cally Edwards, executive director for the Northeastern North Carolina Chapter of the American Red Cross.

Well over half of all winter related deaths happen in cars so it’s important to be prepared when you’re away from home too. You should have a basic emergency kit in your car as well as your home. Add some extras for the winter season like a hat and gloves, a blanket, and even some salt, some sand, or some cat litter can be a life saver if you get stranded on an icy road.

“Those things you usually will not need,” said Heden. “Think of it that you’re out on the road, you break down, and your car’s not working and you don’t have the heat for an hour until the tow truck can come.”

“There is usually a rush to go get shovels, or ice, or sand or whatever it might be to prepare so if you prepare for those things now, you won’t be battling at the stores for those items,” added Edwards.

The last thing you want this winter is to be left out in the cold.

Additional winter weather preparedness resources:

NWS winter safety page:

North Carolina Department of Public Safety preparedness page:

FEMA’s Winter preparedness page: