Winter storms can range from small snow flurries to a blizzard lasting hours or even days! Often, winter storms are accompanied with dangerously low temperatures, strong winds, ice, freezing rain, and snow. Regardless of the severity, it’s important that you and your family are prepared in order to stay safe during these events.
Know the Difference
Winter Storm Outlook – Winter storm conditions are possible in the next 2 to 5 days.
Winter Weather Advisory – Winter weather conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences and may be hazardous. When caution is used, these situations should not be life threatening.
Winter Storm Watch – Winter storm conditions are possible within the next 36 to 48 hours. People in a watch area should review their winter storm plans and stay informed about weather conditions.
Winter Storm Warning – Life-threatening, sever winter conditions have begun or will begin within 24 hours. People in a warning area should take precautions immediately.
How to Prepare for a Winter Storm
• Always keep your gas tank full. A full tank will keep gas in the fuel line, thus eliminating the risk of it freezing.
• Keep your home warm by installing storm windows. You can also use plastic on the inside of your windows to help keep the cold air out.
• Keep your chimneys and fireplace clean to avoid a potential fire.
• If you leave for the holiday, keep your heat set to no lower than 55 degrees.
Put a Safety Kit Together
When putting together a winter safety kit, be sure to include the following:
• 3-day water supply
• 3-day food supply (non-perishable, easy-to-prepare food)
• Battery-powered radio
• Extra batteries
• First Aid kit
• Medications (if applicable)
• Multi-purpose tool
• Sanitation & personal hygiene items
• Family and emergency contact information
• Extra cash
• Sand, rock salt or non-clumping kitty litter to help eliminate slick surfaces
• Coats, gloves, mittens, hats, extra blankets, etc.
In the event of a winter storm, keep in mind these safety tips:
• Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio or local news channels for weather updates
• Bring pets inside during the winter or livestock into a shelter. Make sure their access to food and water is not blocked.
• Allow water to trickle to prevent pipes from freezing.
• Keep garage doors closed if there is a water supply line in the garage.
• Open kitchen and bathroom cabinets to allow warmer air to circulate around your pipes.
• Avoid driving during dangerous conditions. (i.e. sleet, freezing rain, snow, dense fog, etc.)
• Protect yourself against frostbite and hypothermia by wearing warm, loose-fitting, lightweight clothing in several layers. Stay inside, if possible.
via American Red Cross