Winter Storms

Winter Storms & Extreme Cold
Getting Prepared
  • Know the terms used by weather forecasters.
  • Consider purchasing a battery-powered NOAA weather radio and stock extra batteries:
  • Keep rock salt to melt ice on walkways and sand to improve traction.
  • Make sure you have sufficient heating fuel.
  • Make sure you have an alternate heat source and a supply of fuel.
  • Install storm windows or cover windows with plastic.
  • Insulate walls and attics.
  • Caulk and weatherstrip doors and windows.
  • Keep your car "winterized" with antifreeze. Use snow tires.
During a Winter Storm
  • Listen to the radio or television for weather reports and emergency information.
  • Wear several layers of loose fitting, light weight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing.
  • Wear mittens instead of gloves.
  • Wear a hat- most body heat is lost through the top of the head.
  • Avoid overexertion.
  • Watch for signs of frostbite. If symptoms are detected, get medical help immediately.
  • Watch for signs of hypothermia. If symptoms are detected, get medical help immediately.
  • Conserve fuel if necessary by keeping your house cooler than normal.
  • Refuel kerosene heaters outside and keep them at least three feet from flammable objects.
  • If you must travel, consider using public transportation.
  • When using kerosene heaters, gas lanterns or stoves inside the house, maintain ventilation to avoid a build-up of toxic fumes.
  • Never use charcoal or gas barbeques inside; they produce carbon monoxide.
  • Connect lights and appliances directly to a generator, not to an existing electrical system.
Note: Leave one light switch in the on position to alert you when service is restored

Caught in Your Car During a Blizzard

  • Pull off the highway and set your hazard lights to flash. Hang a distress flag from the radio antenna.
  • Run the engine and heater about ten minutes each hour to keep warm. While the engine is running, slightly open a window and keep the exhaust pipe free of snow.
  • Exercise lightly to maintain body heat. Huddle with passengers to stay warm.
  • Take turns sleeping.
  • Be careful not to run the car battery down.
  • If stranded in a remote rural or wilderness area, spread a large cloth over the snow to attract attention of rescue personnel.
  • Once the blizzard passes, you may need to leave the car and proceed on foot.
If You Have Pets
Create a survival kit for your pet. This should include:
  • Identification collar and rabies tag
  • Carrier or cage
  • Leash
  • Any medications (be sure to check expiration dates)
  • Newspapers and plastic trash bags for handling waste
  • At least a two-week supply of food, water and food bowls
  • Veterinary records (most animal shelters do not allow pets without proof of vaccination)