Weather can be unpredictable and wreak havoc on the best-made plans. Fortunately, meteorologists’ fairly accurate forecasts help families, communities, organizations and businesses prepare for whatever is on its way. Emergency preparedness has become an art form here and around the United States.

Last week, the Franklin County area, as well as most of the rest of the state, faced the uncommon phenomenon of “thundersnow.” The public wasn’t surprised because ample advance warning occurred. Midwesterners are a practical lot and did their best to prepare for last week’s storm. By the looks of local grocery store shelves Sunday, they also prepared for Monday’s Round 2 of winter weather.

Schools were closed Thursday and Friday last week and most people wisely stayed off the roads, unless they needed to be out, so public works and road crews could do their best to clear roadways. Though everything didn’t work flawlessly — particularly because of those who left cars parked on snow emergency routes — workers gave it their all. Before they even have time to rest up, they were likely to be at it again this week.

Of course, other people spent a lot of time on the roads too. In particular, law enforcement officers and wrecker services were aiding stranded motorists. The state adjutant general’s office kept the public informed about safety and road conditions. Locally, a shelter was opened to supplement the available hotel rooms. Though schools weren’t in session, educators were working too, especially rearranging events including the sub-state basketball tournaments. Medical providers still were on the job too.

Technology helped many people work remotely despite the weather so we all should be grateful to those who kept the electricity and natural gas on too. Many others predictably work behind the scenes to keep things moving along like business as usual. While none of us can control the weather we can control our reaction to it. Being prepared for emergencies and bad weather makes an important difference to ensuring havoc isn’t the outcome of whatever Mother Nature throws our way.


— Jeanny Sharp, editor and publisher