Weather Channel forecast map for Winter Storm Jonas

Preparedness Information for Winter Storm Jonas

It looks like winter has finally arrived. While winter sports enthusiasts are saying “finally!” many of us are saying “aw shucks!” In either case, personal preparedness is important. This storm may drop between 2 inches and 2 feet of snow in various parts of the Conference. Be sure to check LOCAL weather conditions. Here are a few items to remember

Keep the following in your car:
  • Rock salt or some other ice melter.
  • Sand to improve traction.
  • Snow shovel and ice scraper.
  • Adequate clothing and blankets to keep you warm.
During the storm:
  • Stay indoors during the storm if possible.
  • Walk carefully on snowy, icy, walkways.
  • Avoid overexertion when shoveling snow. Overexertion can bring on a heart attack-a major cause of death in the winter. Use caution, take breaks, push the snow instead of lifting it when possible, and lift lighter loads.
  • Keep dry. Change wet clothing frequently to prevent a loss of body heat. Wet clothing loses all of its insulating value and transmits heat rapidly.
    If your home loses power or heat for more than a few hours or if you do not have adequate supplies to stay warm in your home overnight, you may want to go to a designated public shelter if you can get there safely. Text SHELTER + your ZIP code (e.g., SHELTER18052) to 43362 (4FEMA) to find the nearest shelter in your area.

The Department of Homeland Security has detailed lists and other information at

What Churches should do:

The further south you are in the Conference you are the greater the likelihood of severe or crippling weather. Some churches may want to consider cancelling weekend events today (especially Saturday events and possibly Sunday worship) while others may want to defer the decision. Decide now how any cancellations will be communicated to participants and the wider community.

If there are local or regional power outages, the church building may have power. If that is the case, consider opening the church as a temporary warming center where people can take refuge while waiting for their power to come back or find a safe place to go if there will be an extended power outage.

Rev Greg Ellis
Disaster Ministry Coordinator
Eastern Pennsylvania Conference of The United Methodist Church