Winter storms and extreme cold weather vary across the country, and nearly all of us, regardless of where we live, are likely to face some type of severe winter weather at some point in our lives.
Winter storms can range from a moderate snow over a few hours to a blizzard with blinding, wind-driven snow that lasts for several days. Many winter storms are accompanied by dangerously low temperatures and sometimes by strong winds, icing, sleet and freezing rain.
One of the primary concerns is the winter weather's ability to knock out heat, power and communications services to your home or office, sometimes for days at a time. Heavy snowfall and extreme cold can immobilize an entire region.
Tips on Preparing for a Winter Storm
Before winter storms approach, add the following supplies to your emergency kit:
- Have Rock Salt on-hand to melt ice on walkways.
- Use Sand to improve traction.
- Have Snow Shovels and other snow removal equipment ready.
- Have Sufficient Heating Fuel. You may become isolated in your home and regular fuel sources may be cut off. Store a good supply of dry, seasoned wood for your fireplace or wood-burning stove.
- Keep Adequate Clothing and Blankets handy to keep you warm.
- Make a Family Communications Plan. Your family may not be together when sever weather strikes, so it is important to know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together and what you will do in case of an emergency.
- Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio or other local news channels for critical weather related information, or visit them online. Be alert to changing weather conditions.
- Minimize Your Travel. If travel is necessary, keep a emergency supplies in your vehicle.
- Bring Pets/Companion Animals Inside during winter weather. Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas with non-frozen drinking water.