ST. LOUIS — Winter Weather Preparedness Week is about keeping yourself and your families safe during the coldest months of the year. It’s a week to promote planning for winter weather, which can be dangerous and even deadly when not prepared. 

The National Weather Service and the State Emergency Management Agency are sharing winter weather safety messaging through social media all week. 

Monday’s theme was winter weather terminology, explaining the difference between a winter storm watch, a winter storm warning, a winter weather advisory and a blizzard warning. 

Tuesday and Wednesday focus on ice and snow, followed by extreme cold on Thursday and general safety on Friday. 

“What to do with your pets, what to do with yourselves when you’re out working outside in those conditions. What to do,” said Melissa Byrd, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in St. Louis. 

Prepare by creating a family emergency plan and emergency kit, assemble a winter emergency kit for your vehicle, and avoid driving when road conditions could deteriorate. 

“We have been so warm this fall. And conditions can change in a flash and we want people to be prepared. To know what to do. To remember to drive carefully when there’s certain conditions out on the road and just overall safety,” Byrd said. 

We know the near-record warmth won’t last forever, and winter weather could be here before we know it. The first event of the season can be particularly tricky. 

“That can throw people off. Even myself. Because you’re not prepared for it. It’s been months since you’ve had to drive in it. And you know, you just need to be prepared,” she said.