Winter Storms

Emergency Preparedness

Before the Storm
  • Arrange for emergency heat supply in case of power failure.
  • Prepare automobile, battery-powered equipment, food, heating fuel and other supplies.
  • Prepare a winter survival kit. You should have the following items in your car: Blankets or sleeping bags, flares, high energy foods (candy, raisins, nuts, etc.), first aid kit, flashlights, extra clothing, knives, compass, emergency candles and matches, maps, jumper cable, tow chain, shovel, windshield scraper, sack of sand.
  • Your car will help you keep warm, visible and alive should you be trapped in a winter storm. A lighted candle will help keep you from freezing, but you must remember to have a window open slightly for ventilation.
  • Keep car fuel tank above half full.
During and After the Storm
  • Dress warmly. Wear multiple layers of protective, loose-fitting clothing, scarves, mittens and hoods. Cover the mouth and nose to protect lungs from extremely cold air.
  • Avoid travel, but if you become stranded, stay in your vehicle - keep it ventilated, bundle up, light an emergency candle for warmth, occasionally change positions and DON'T PANIC.
  • Avoid overexertion. Heart attacks are a major cause of deaths during and after winter storms. Shoveling snow or freeing stuck vehicles can be extremely hard work. Don't overdo it!
  • Beware of the chill factor if winds are present.
  • Be prepared for isolation at home. If you live in a rural area, make sure you can survive at home for a week or two in case a storm isolates you and makes it impossible for you to leave.
If a Warning is issued, the Storm is Imminent, Know Winter Words Of Warning
  • WATCH. A winter storm is approaching.
  • FLURRIES; Intermittent snowfall that may reduce visibility.
  • SLEET is small particles of ice, usually mixed with rain. If enough sleet accumulates on the ground, it will make the roads slippery.
  • HEAVY SNOW is when four or more inches are expected within a 12-hour period.
  • FREEZING RAIN or FREEZING DRIZZLE is forecast when expected rain is likely to freeze as soon as it strikes the ground, putting a coating of ice or glaze on roads and everything else that is exposed. If a substantial layer of ice is expected to accumulate from the freezing rain, an ICE STORM is forecast.
  • A BLIZZARD is the most dangerous of all winter storms. It combines cold air, heavy snow and strong winds that blow the snow about and may reduce visibility to only a few yards. Winds 35 mph. Temperature 20 degrees F. or less.
  • A SEVERE BLIZZARD WARNING means that a very heavy snowfall is expected, with winds of at least 45 mph or temperatures of ten degrees or lower.
Other Emergency Procedures