The unseasonably warm fall we were enjoying is now a thing of the past and we have already received an unwelcome winter preview with some cold weather over the past week.

It’s only a matter of time before that four-letter word is uttered by our own Dan Zarrow. You know the word that brings a smile to the face of children and a frown to those of us who have no choice but to deal with it: SNOW!

It is coming sooner or later (let’s hope it’s much later) so in preparation we have designed today as “Be Prepared for Winter Cancellation Day.”  It’s our way of getting you ready for Ocean County Stormwatch which is the term that goes with the on air and on line notification service we at WOBM provide during times of bad weather.

Things are quite different from the days when I was co-hosting the morning show and the only way to find out if your school was closed or your meeting cancelled was to listen to the radio.  We did that list in alphabetical order and if you tuned in when we were on “N” and your school started with an “M” 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 announcements on the air you don’t have to wait.  Our Stormwatch program is linked to wobm.com 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 as soon as they do you can view the information on your laptop, tablet and mobile device.  And if you download our station app you’ll be able to 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 and if your group is changing primary contacts from last year we need to know.

Credentials don’t change from year to year so we encourage you to try a “test” closure by simply following the directions you have used in the past. In addition we sent you an email yesterday so refer to that.

If you have not been part of Ocean County Stormwatch in the past but want to be included just complete the form on the website.  Or, look for “Ocean County Stormwatch” under the news tab at the top of the page.