Stay prepared during this weekend’s extreme weather shift

Although Thursday’s weather was a reminder of what spring could bring, you should be prepared for the extreme weather shift this weekend. Miami Valley is expected to receive freezing rain and then snowfall from around 3 to 5 inches.

“Anything that falls Friday, whether it is a coat of ice or accumulating snow, you’re going to have some residual problems because temperatures get so cold Saturday, Saturday night and Sunday,” Storm Center 7’s Kirstie Zontini said.

Because of the abrupt weather change, some officials say many may be unprepared for the power outages, harsh driving conditions and freezing cold that will likely come with it.

>>WEATHER: Winter storm timeline: When the storm will hit where you live

News Center 7’s Malik Perkins spoke with Cassia Patten at the American Red Cross about grabbing important items to stay prepared.

“You want to make sure that you have several days worth of nonperishable foods. Granola bars, cereals, canned goods,” Patten said.

Space heaters are a common way to stay warm but Patten urges to be careful of the possibilities of a fire in a power outage.

“One trick we suggest with people is to extend your arm out across your space heater, and if you can walk a circle -- if you can do that without bumping into anything -- you’re clear,” Patten said.

If you have to go out into the conditions, there are items to keep in your vehicle in case of an emergency.

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“Sawdust, kitty litter or sand to help you get out if you’re stuck,” Patten said. She also suggests hand warmers, water and snacks.

A Winter Weather Advisory will be in effect Friday and rain will change to freezing rain and then to snow late in the evening, according to Storm Center 7 Chief Meteorologist Eric Elwell.

Check in with WHIO on TV, online and the radio to stay updated on the latest weather conditions for the weekend.

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