Practice safety during wintertime

Published 8:51 pm Tuesday, January 16, 2018

By Chris Quilpa

A couple of weeks ago, Hampton Roads had the first dose of winter for 2018. We had school and office closings and events cancellations to make sure we’re all safe and sound, and now we have another round of snow.

Thank you to the state and local government officials, Dominion Energy personnel and especially VDOT crew and personnel involved in the preparation and clearing of our roads and major streets and thoroughfares during the snowstorm.

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Thanks also to employees who picked up the slack, such that security and safety and order were maintained, and medical services continued to function for our residents in need. Likewise, thanks to church officials who let their churches be a sanctuary for the homeless and those who sought shelter during winter.

The cold and chilly months are definitely here. It’s the season to wear warm but cozy and comfortable clothing, jackets, sweaters and coats, scarves, mittens and gloves.

Again, it’s time for that early-morning, freshly-brewed coffee, hot chocolate, pancakes, a slice or two of bacon, eggs (either boiled or scrambled), and comfort food and flavored, hot and spicy noodle soups during the day or night. An apple or oranges, or a slice of cake, whether pie cake or cupcake or cookies, anything that is sweet, is good for dessert. And, of course, a cup or two of hot green tea to complete your meal.

To some, wintertime means family time together, gathering around a fireplace in the family or large living room, enjoying food with family members and friends if they happen to be around visiting, while listening to music or watching TV or a favorite movie or video game, or reading a book, or talking about just anything that comes to mind.

It’s just a good bonding time with family and friends, while enjoying the comfort of home, when the heater is on, while snow’s falling or encountering or witnessing snowstorm or winter blast.

For athletes and snow and ice lovers, it’s that time again for sports involving ice or snow, such as bandy, bobsledding, broomball, curling, hockey, ice fishing, ice skating, luge, ringette, skeleton, skiing, skwalling, slalom, sledding, snowboarding and toboggan. By the way, the Winter Olympics 2018 are going to be held in PyeongChang, South Korea, this February.

Remember, safety is everyone’s concern. Bundle up, especially when you’re outside, to protect yourself from extreme cold weather conditions, like hypothermia or frostbite.

What about pet animals? Cats or dogs, especially when they’re small, need sweaters or jackets, too, especially when they’re outside. Warm blankets and small amount of lukewarm milk or water, besides their main food and other treats or snacks, should be always available for them. And, of course, your tender loving care.

For drivers and travelers out there, observe safety and civility at all times. Be extra careful and watch out for impending traffic jam or any accident that may occur. In short, practice common sense.

Unless you have a valid reason to be driving outside, especially during a major snowstorm, stay at home and keep abreast with the latest news. It’s always good to be well-informed. Heed the warnings and announcements regarding safety and security and order during wintertime.

Have a safe and wonderful winter.

Chris A. Quilpa, a retired U.S. Navy veteran, lives in Suffolk. Email him at