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Sunday, November 26, 2023


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SNOWY WINTER? This year’s El Niño weather pattern could result in a few major coastal storms for the Mid-Atlantic.

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PETS: If it’s cold for you, it’s cold for your pets! Bring animals inside during cold temperatures.

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READY FOR WINTER: Delaware Department of Transportation staff and plow trucks are ready to clear roads throughout the First State.

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CARBON MONOXIDE: Install a smoke detector and/or carbon monoxide detector on every level of your home and especially near sleeping areas.

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SNOW: Shoveling can cause injuries or cardiac events. Don’t overexert yourself. Take your time. Ask for help if you need it.

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SMYRNA, Del. – Governor Carney is proclaiming the week of November 27 to December 1 as “Winter Weather Awareness Week in Delaware.” The Delaware Emergency Management Agency, Delaware Department of Transportation, National Weather Service, and county emergency agencies are teaming up to share important information to help residents and visitors to prepare and stay safe in the coming months.

Learn more at:  

Winter can bring extreme cold, ice, snow, and high winds—knocking out power and heat and causing hazardous travel conditions, sometimes with deadly results. Last year, winter storms and extreme cold were responsible for 97 deaths in the United States, according to the National Weather Service. This includes the “once in a generation” late-December blizzard that brought 70 winds and more than 50 inches of snow to Buffalo, New York, causing at least 47 deaths.

Experts say last year’s mild winter is no indication of what’s to come. Even though 2022-2023 was among the least snowy on record in the Mid-Atlantic, forecasts indicate a moderate to strong El Niño pattern, which could result in a few major winter storms despite a trend toward slightly above average temperatures and precipitation. Preparing now can greatly reduce any potential impacts from severe weather. The Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) is urging everyone to: make a plan, build a home and car emergency kit, and stay informed on the latest conditions. Visit for more resources.

“Winter storms can arrive quickly and with little warning. Being prepared ensures the safety and well-being of families throughout the season. We encourage residents to take time to update their emergency kits and make sure their vehicle is ready for hazardous travel conditions,” said Safety and Homeland Security Secretary Nathaniel McQueen, Jr.

Secretary of Transportation Nicole Majeski added, “DelDOT is preparing for the upcoming winter months, and we encourage everyone to take time to ensure their vehicles are ready for winter weather by replacing wiper blades, checking the condition of tires, and having a car emergency kit. It is also extremely important for drivers to slow down, not crowd snowplows, and avoid travel when conditions are at their worst, if possible.”

Each day of Winter Weather Awareness Week on social media, participating agencies will focus on a different winter weather topic along with safety tips to get ready for whatever winter brings.

  • Monday, November 27 – the topic is Winter Preparedness. 

    • Prepare for Winter Storms

  • Tuesday, November 28 – the topic is Heavy Snow.

    • Be Ready for Winter Storms

  • Wednesday, November 29 – the topic is Ice.

    •  Ice: A Deadly Driving Hazard

  • Thursday, November 30 – the topic is Extreme Cold.

    •  What if the Power Goes Out?

  • Friday, December 1 – the topic is Nor'easters/Coastal Storms.

    • Nor'easters: A Force of Nature


  • Stay informed about current weather, winter storm forecasts, travel advisories, and warnings.

  • Sign up for the Delaware Emergency Notification System (DENS) at to learn about emergency closings or hazardous conditions. Download the FEMA App (  and set up local alerts.

  • Dress in layers appropriate for the conditions and learn the signs of hypothermia and frostbite.

  • If possible, avoid travel by car. However, if driving, be prepared for snow and icy conditions that can impact roadways. Check ahead on road conditions with the DelDOT Mobile App - ( 

  • Build and stock a basic emergency kit and vehicle emergency kit. Learn how at - (

  • Prepare your home and car for extreme cold temperatures, such as weatherproofing your house and winterizing your vehicle by checking or replacing lights, tires, wiper blades, and other items.

  • Bring pets or animals in during winter storms and freezing temperatures and stock pet supplies.

  • Preparedness takes a team: “buddy up” to help those with access and functional needs.


The National Weather Service-Mount Holly (NWS) issues the latest weather conditions and forecasts for Delaware as well as official winter storm watches, warnings, and advisories. NWS also has a Winter Weather Dashboard that shows the short-term forecast for winter weather conditions in the three-state region that includes Delaware. Get to know the following winter weather terms and what they mean:

  • Freezing Rain – Rain that freezes when it hits the ground: covering roads, trees, and power lines.

  • Sleet – Rain that turns to ice before reaching the ground.

  • Hypothermia – Illness caused when body temperature drops below what’s needed to be healthy.

  • Frostbite – A medical condition when skin or body tissue is damaged from freezing.

  • Frost/Freeze Warning – Below freezing temperatures are expected.

  • Winter Weather Advisory – Cold, ice, and snow are expected.

  • Winter Storm Watch – Severe weather such as heavy snow or ice is possible in the next day or two.

  • Winter Warning – Issued when snow or sleet is expected in the next few hours or the next day.

  • Blizzard Warning – Heavy snow and strong winds will produce a blinding snow, near zero visibility, deep drifts, and life-threatening wind chill.


While Delaware did not experience any significant snow or ice impacts this past winter, DelDOT reminds motorists to slow down and adapt their driving to the road conditions, give plows plenty of space on the roads, and take the time to remove snow and ice from their vehicles before traveling. The free DelDOT mobile app provides news, updates, and access to more than 100 cameras to view road conditions before traveling.


If there is a declared State of Emergency (SOE) due to weather, officials can issue driving restrictions statewide or in one or more counties under Delaware Code, There are three levels of restrictions:

  • Level 1 Driving Warning: Motorists are to “exercise extra caution in the operation of their motor vehicle” and encouraged “not to operate a motor vehicle… unless there is a significant safety, health, or business reason to do so.”

  • Level 2 Driving Restriction: Travel on Delaware roads is restricted to “essential personnel” such as public or private snow removal operators and those “necessary to maintain the core functions of a government body or entity, and to maintain the health and safety of the people in Delaware including health-care services, and food and fuel deliveries during a state of emergency, regardless of whether they are employed by a public or private entity.”

  • Level 3 Driving Ban: “No person shall operate a motor vehicle on Delaware roadways … except those persons designated as first responders and essential personnel, including public utilities… and operators of snow removal equipment employed or contracted by a public or private entity.” 


Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: The use of alternative heating sources, such as space heaters and generators, during power outages can increase the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning if not used safely.

Home Fires: Increased use of heating sources, holiday decorations, and cooking during the winter season can elevate the risk of home fires.

Isolation and Mental Health: Extended periods of cold and darkness during the winter can lead to feelings of isolation and seasonal affective disorder (SAD), affecting mental health.

Lack of Supplies: Snowstorms and severe weather can result in shortages of essential supplies, making it challenging to access food, water, and medical necessities.

Snow Removal Injuries: Clearing snow and ice from driveways and walkways can lead to physical injuries, such as back strain or heart attacks, especially for those not accustomed to strenuous activity.

National Weather Service Links:

•          NWS Philadelphia/Mt. Holly Website:

•          Facebook:

•          X (formerly Twitter): @NWS_MountHolly

DelDOT Links:

•          Download the free DelDOT mobile app -

•          Travel Advisories: -

•          WTMC Radio:  1380 AM statewide

•          Facebook:

•          X: @DelawareDOT

DEMA Links:


•          Facebook:

•          X: @DelawareEMA


Resources on Winter Preparedness:

• Winter Weather -

• News

•          FEMA Videos: “Preparing for Winter Travel”  “Be Prepared for Emergencies While Traveling”


•          Weather Terms -

•          CDC Winter Weather -

•          American Red Cross Winter Weather Resources -

•          Department of Health and Human Services Winter Weather Resources -

•          U.S. Fire Administration Winter Fire Safety -



The Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) is the lead state agency for coordination of comprehensive emergency preparedness, training, response, recovery, and mitigation services to save lives, protect Delaware's economic base and reduce the impact of emergencies.  DEMA is a division within the Department of Safety and Homeland Security (DSHS) and authorized by Delaware Code.