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Ready Arlington: Braving the Cold

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This biweekly column is written and sponsored by the Arlington Office of Emergency Management.

Snow in ArlingtonThe cold has finally arrived, and with it the possibility of winter weather. Whether you’re doing the snow dance or not, now’s the time to make sure you’re ready for winter! Take these five simple steps to prepare for today and every day.

Give Your Car a Prep Check — Every year over 480,000 people are injured and more than 6,000 people are killed in weather-related crashes. Make sure your car is in prime working order before you hit the road in less-than-perfect conditions.

  • Check your antifreeze, oil, brakes, heater & defroster, windshield wipers & fluid, battery, and tires for proper levels and good working order.
  • Go through supplies you have stored in your car to make sure your food, water, radio, phone charger, first aid kit, kitty litter/sand, shovel, ice scraper, and blanket are still there, and in good working order. Add supplies if you’re low on anything. For a list of basic car supplies, see Ready.gov.
  • Make sure to keep your gas tank at least half full (a good practice year-round, but particularly important in the winter). If you’re surprised by weather, and end up stranded on the road, a full tank of gas will provide you with hours of heat!

Emergency KitCheck Your Stocks — Not those stocks; your preparedness stocks! Last winter following Winter Storm Jonas, residents across the region found themselves in their homes for days. Grocery stores and restaurants had difficulties restocking and serving customers. This serves as a reminder that we all need to have at least a few days of food and supplies in our homes at all times.

  • Case your pantry or emergency kit, and verify that you have at least 3 days of food and water for your entire Discard and replace any food that has expired.
  • Check your flashlights, radios, batteries and anything else with an on/off switch in your supplies to make sure they work and that the batteries are good.
  • Do a full assessment of additional supplies you may need, and verify they are easily assessable for your entire family. A basic list of emergency supplies is available at Ready.gov.

Be Aware & Prepared — Most weather-related car accidents happen when the roads are wet or slippery from rain, snow or ice. Be aware and prepared for the conditions.

  • Slow down and give yourself plenty of space when the roads are wet. If the temperature is near freezing, you may be driving on ice without realizing it.
  • Weather can change rapidly- it’s important to know what you’ll be heading out into before you go. Register for ArlingtonAlert.com to receive National Weather Service warnings, as well as traffic and emergency alerts.
  • Stay off the roads during snow and ice events. Not only do you put yourself at risk by taking to the roads, you also slow the clean-up efforts.

Talk the Talk — Following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, over 5,000 children were separated from their families for as long as 6 months. Family communication plans are a critical component to help you and your family find one another after an emergency.

  • Review your communication plan to make sure the information, such as your contacts (i.e. out-of-town contact, doctors, caregivers, etc.), meeting areas, locations (school, work, home), insurance, evacuation routes, etc. are still correct. Go to ReadyNOVA.org to develop a family communication plan that can be printed, sent and saved to mobile devices.
  • Review the plan with your entire family and make sure everyone knows what to do and who to call if they are separated from you.

Get Involved — Help your community during an emergency.

  • Get to know your neighbors, and find out if any may need help after a winter storm, and then offer to help if you’re able to!
  • Join the Arlington Network for Community Readiness, a volunteer group who supports the Office of Emergency Management in educating and assisting Arlington for emergencies.

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YULA’s ultimate frisbee spring season is now open for registration. We offer programs for middle and high schoolers – open to all players, whether they are new or have previous experience.Middle SchoolIn the Middle School league, mixed-gender teams practice once during the week and have games on Sunday afternoons. Spring league is a fun, safe, and positive environment. The season begins mid-March and wraps up with a tournament in early June. There are several options for practice days, so we can often work around schedule conflicts with other sports & activities.High SchoolThe High School program is organized by school of attendance and teams are classified by gender. New players will learn the basics in a supportive, welcoming environment. Experienced players will continue to develop their skills, and enjoy competition with other high school programs. The season concludes with a state level championship tournament in late May.All players are guided by experienced coaches who emphasize sportsmanship and good spirit. Ultimate is a fun sport with great camaraderie!YULA does not want finances to limit anyone from participating. Our middle school program offers a “Pay What You Can” cost structure and our our high school program is offering a $50 discount to new players.Visit our website to register and learn more. Sign up with a friend, but don’t delay, the season starts in March!http://www.yula-ulti.org

Submit your own Announcement here.

The Arlington-Aachen High School exchange is returning this summer and currently accepting applicants.

The sister-city partnership started in 1993 by the Arlington Sister Cities Association, which seeks to promote Arlington’s international profile through a variety of exchanges in education, commerce, culture and the arts. The exchange, scheduled June 17th to July 4th, includes a two-week homestay in Aachen plus three days in Berlin. Knowledge of the German language is not required for the trip.

Former participants have this to say:

_”The Aachen exchange was an eye-opening experience where I was fully immersed in the life of a German student. I loved biking through the countryside to Belgium, having gelato and picnics in the town square, and hanging out with my German host student’s friends. My first time out of the country, the Aachen exchange taught me to keep an open mind, because you never know what could be a life changing experience.” – Kelly M._

Read More

Submit your own Announcement here.

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