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We should always be prepared to deal with winter weather

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 Juniata 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 at the ready when it is needed again under other circumstances, such as when roads are unsafe for travel.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation told us roads would be treacherous for travel and asked drivers to stay off the roads if at all possible. Employers now know many of their employees are able to do their jobs remotely without putting themselves in danger. No one should have to worry they are putting their lives at risk to get the job done.

Meanwhile, as we saw Monday, many of those employers whose businesses rely on in-person work did close for the morning or the day, to keep their employees safe — including us.

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 see every time the white stuff is in the weather forecast.

We go through this every year, folks. We have a couple of months of winter ahead. We’ve learned a lot of lessons about staying safer and taking care of each other over the past year or so. Let’s remember them, so that Old Man Winter can be a little less of a headache for us all.

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