We know it’s coming. A welcome sight by some and clearly very unwelcome by others.

Sooner or later our Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow will utter that four-letter word that brings a smile to the face of school-age children and a frown to those of us who have to deal with it: SNOW.

In preparation we have designated today as “Be Prepared for Winter Cancellation Day.”  It’s our way of getting you ready for Ocean County Stormwatch which is what we at WOBM call our on line and on air notification service during times of bad and severe weather.

Of course things are very different from the 80s and 90s when I was co-hosting the morning show and the ONLY way to find out if your school was closed or meeting cancelled was to listen to the radio.  We would read that complete list in alphabetical order and if you tuned in when we were on “C” and your school started with a “B” you had to wait for what seemed like an eternity to get the information you cared about.

Times have changed and while we still read some closings/cancellations on the air you don’t have to wait any longer.

Our Stormwatch program is linked to our website and participants are able to use the system to report weather-related information for schools, organizations, clubs and others.  The best part is they can do this 24/7 and the information is posted immediately and can be viewed on your laptop, tablet and mobile device.

If you download our FREE station app you’ll even receive news alerts once school districts begin reporting.

So back to today being “Be Prepared for Winter Cancellation Day.”  This is the day for our participating schools and organizations to make sure they have their credentials handy for when bad weather hits.  Also if you are changing primary contacts from last year we need to know.  Your credentials don’t change from year to year so we encourage you to try a “test” closure by simply following the procedure you have used in the past…in addition you were sent an email yesterday so refer to that for directions.

If you have not been part of Ocean County Stormwatch in the past but want to be included just go on our website and up top click on the STORMWATCH tab and it will allow you register.  I guess this is an unofficial welcome to winter.