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Preparation helps with cold weather

If weather forecasters were correct, you may have woken up this morning and thought you’d been transported overnight to Michigan or Minnesota.

Snow is expected to fall today in our area for the second time in less than week.

Snow is a rare thing — fortunately — in these parts, but to have it appear twice in such a short period of time is practically unheard of in southern Mississippi.

Snow is fun to see occasionally and can be great fun for children who may get an unexpected break from school, but can be a dangerous bear to wrestle when travel is required.

If the roads get snowy and icy, we urge residents to stay off them except in emergencies. Quite simply, our road maintenance and transportation infrastructure isn’t setup to handle the massive de-icing work that is routinely done by our cousins in northern states where snow is less of an exception and more of a winter rule.

Temperatures are also expected to plummet and stay below freezing until Wednesday afternoon, when the mercury is expected to briefly jump above freezing before falling again.

Cold weather can be brutal to our roadways and unexposed pipes, but it can be deadly to people and pets. If you know of someone who doesn’t have a warm place to stay, please contact emergency personnel and help the person avoid exposure. The same goes for our four-legged friends, too. Pets should not be exposed to temperatures in the teens.

Let’s be prepared and safe as the winter weather heads our way again.

Of course, if the weather forecasters are wrong, all we’re out is a bit of time and effort.