Winter Storms

Before Extreme Cold:

Prepare the following items for your winter emergency kit:
+ Rock Salt (to melt ice on walkways and in parking lots).
+ Sand (to improve traction).
+ Snow shovels & other snow gear.
+ Sufficient fuel in case you are unable to leave your home or local supply is shut off.
+ Warm blankets and clothing.
+ Formulate a family communication plan in case everyone is not together at the time of the emergency.
+ Stay tuned to weather radio and local news reports for developing information regarding the weather.
+ Only travel if necessary.
+ Bring pets and companionship animals inside during winter weather and ensure non-frozen drinking water.

During Extreme Cold:

+ Stay Indoors.
+ Walk carefully – there may be ice under what appears to be fresh snow.
+ Change out of wet clothing to prevent loss of body heat.
+ Watch for frostbite.
+ Watch for hypothermia (uncontrollable shivering, disorientation, drowsiness).
+ Drive only when necessary.
+ Let friends and family know your plans and routes.
+ Ventilate fumes when heating indoors.
+ Conserve fuel and only heat rooms that must be warm.
+ If going on a trip, leave the heat on a lower temperature than 55ºF.

After Extreme Cold:

Continue wearing warm, lightweight clothing in layers and stay indoors until conditions improve.
Winterizing Your Home:
+ Insulate walls and attics. Caulk and weather-strip doors and windows. Install storm windows or covering windows with plastic to prolong life of home fuel supply.
+ Prepare a shelter for your family, neighbors, livestock or equipment. Clean rain gutters; repair leaks and cut away tree branches that could damage your shelter during a storm.
+ Maintain, clean and inspect every year heating systems and chimneys annually.
+ Insulate pipes allow faucets slightly trickle during cold weather to avoid freezing.
+ Keep fire extinguishers on hand and educate family on how to properly use them.
+ Be aware of potential fire hazards via space heaters, indoor fireplaces, etc.
+ Be prepared to turn off water supply in case of a pipe burst.
Winterizing Your Vehicle:
Check the following in your car
+ Antifreeze levels
+ Battery and ignition system
+ Brakes
+ Exhaust system
+ Fuel and air filters
+ Heater and defroster
+ Lights and flashing hazard lights
+ Oil
+ Thermostat
+ Windshield wiper equipment
+ Install good winter tires

General Facts:

+ Freezing Rain: Rain that freezes when it hits the ground, icing roads and power lines.
+ Sleet: Rain that turns to ice chips before reaching the ground.
+ Winter Weather Advisory: Winter weather conditions are expected to be hazardous. Caution should be used to prevent injury.
+ Winter Storm Watch: A winter storm is possible. Tune into local weather and news for further information.
+ Winter Storm Warning: A winter storm is occurring or will occur.
+ Blizzard Warning: Gusts up to 35 miles per hour and significant amounts of snow (reducing visibility) will prevail for 3+ hours.
+ Frost/Freeze Warning: Below freezing temperatures are expected.