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For the last several days — at least — the National Weather Service has warned about snow. And rain. And then maybe more snow.

While not much of the white stuff fell on Polk County — some areas saw small accumulation, but nothing like the 5 to 8 inches forecast — many took steps to be prepared.

Posts on Facebook from Polk County CERT cautioned to be ready for a winter event: charge batteries, stock the pantry, be sure outdoor animals and livestock would be cared for.

Some dread the snow and were unhappy it was even on the radar. Others were disappointed it didn’t show itself.

The weather can be hard to predict. We’re grateful for the warnings, even if it doesn’t materialize. Really, it’s good to be prepared for events — winter and otherwise — on a regular basis.

If you are ready for an emergency, then you don’t have to rush to the store at the last minute and raid the produce aisle for every last bunch of kale, like we saw happen in Seattle and other places in Oregon.

When it comes to weather, when there is an event such as the one last weekend, it is better to be safe than sorry. Keep an eye on changes in the weather forecast. Make it a habit to check the latest updates, especially when it is so uncertain. That will make it more likely that you will head home early and hopefully be safely home before the storm hits, and not get stuck in traffic like so many did in Seattle on Friday.

The weather continues to be difficult to predict, with rain, wintery mixes, and even freezing rain on the 10-day forecast. It will probably mean more rain for Polk County, but the possibility of freezing and snow remain. Keep those batteries charged and that pantry full. Keep watching the weather forecast to see if you should alter plans. Make sure outdoor animals have access to water that hasn’t frozen over. Watch the river levels for floods.

Most of all, be safe this winter. We’re more than halfway to spring now.

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