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Winter can go from wonderful to woeful for those unprepared

By Greg Mellen, Behind the Badge

For hundreds of students who found themselves trapped at sleep-away science camps in the San Bernardino mountains as a rare winter blizzard descended on Southern California, being snowbound for a few extra days was probably great fun.

As 12-year-old Fletcher West, one of the students from Irvine, said to CBS News, “Some people were sad, I was mostly happy.”

However, for those not stranded in professionally run, well-stocked camps, being “in the weather,” was less enjoyable. And if you choose to venture into a winter wonderland without being prepared, an adventure can become an avalanche of disaster.

Local public safety sites like ReadyOC, Orange County’s leading preparedness resource, can be invaluable during unprecedented natural and man-made disasters. Their website offers a variety of emergency preparedness tips including how to pack an emergency kit, as well as how to plan for potential disaster situations. Other national organizations, like the Red Cross and, also have winter preparedness tips, checklists and readiness options.

Many residents in towns such as Lake Arrowhead, Crestline and Big Bear found themselves stranded for more than a week before roads were cleared. In addition, a number of stores in those towns experienced roof cave-ins, making food availability scarce.

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