WINTER WEATHER SAFETY

WINTER WEATHER SAFETY & PREPAREDNESS

Home Supplies & Safety Tips

-A three-day supply of water (one gallon per person, per day)
-Non-perishable food
-One change of clothing and shoes per person
-Portable radio
-Flashlight with extra batteries
-Extra set of car keys
-Cash and a credit/debit card
-Items for infants, elderly, or disable family members
-One blanket or sleeping bag
-First aid kit
-Prescription medicines
-Emergency tools
-Battery-powered NOAA Weather Radio

  • Check battery-powered equipment before the storm arrives.
  • Check your food and have an extra supply.  Include food that requires no cooking in case of power failure.  If there are infants or people who need special medication at home, make sure you have a supply of the proper food and medicine.
  • Be sure to practice fire prevention if you use a heat source  (e.g. fireplace, stove, or space heater) at home and make sure the heat source is properly ventilated to avoid a buildup of carbon monoxide.
  • Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they work properly.
  • Close off any unneeded rooms in the house, stuff towels or rags under doors, and cover windows at night.
  • Don't overexert yourself shoveling snow.  Heart attacks are a major cause of death during and after winter storms.
  • Dress for the conditions when outdoors.  Wear several layers of lightweight, warm clothing as opposed to one heavy jacket. Layers can be removed to prevent overheating, perspiring and subsequent chill. Outer garments should be tightly woven, waterproof, and hooded. For the hands, mittens offer better protection than fingered gloves.

Vehicle Safety Tips

Get your car winterized before winter arrives.  The following items should be checked: ignition system, cooling system, fuel system, battery, lights, tires, heater, brakes, wipers, defroster, oil, and exhaust.  Keep water out of your fuel tank by keeping it full.

If you must travel during a winter storm, it's a good idea to follow these tips:

  • Check road conditions
  • Avoid traveling alone, if possible.
  • Let someone know your timetable and primary and alternate routes to your destination.
  • Carry a winter storm kit in you car.  It should include flashlight, windshield scraper, paper towels, extra clothes, matches/candles, booster cables, compass, maps, sand, chains, blankets, and high calorie non-perishable food.
  • Drive carefully and defensively.  Instead of slamming your breaks, pump your breaks when trying to stop on snow or ice covered roads.  Roads which may appear clear in the wintertime may actually be coated with a thin layer of ice, commonly called black ice.  This thin layer of ice can cause you to lose control of your vehicle.  Reduce your speed if you detect black ice.

If you become stranded in your vehicle:

  • Never leave your vehicle.
  • Run the motor for about 10 minutes each hour for heat.
  • Crack the windows for fresh air to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Be sure to keep your exhaust clear of snow if the engine is running.
  • To stay warm, exercise periodically in your car by vigorously moving your arms, legs, toes and fingers.
  • Tie a colored cloth (preferably red) to your antenna or door.
  • After the snow stops falling, raise the hood of your car to indicate you need help.

Winter Farm Safety and Pets
  • Move animals to sheltered areas.
  • Shelter belts properly laid out and oriented are better protection for cattle than confining shelters, such as sheds.
  • Haul extra feed to nearby feeding areas.
  • Make sure pets have plenty of food, water, and shelter.  Most animals die from dehydration in winter storms.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
NWS Winter Weather Safety and Awareness
Winter Storm and Ice Storm Preparedness
Road Conditions
How does snow, sleet, and freezing rain develop?
Measuring and reporting snow


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