Preparing for a Winter Storm

Preparation for a winter storm is the best method for minimizing injury or damage. There will be little time to move to protected areas once a winter storm is in the immediate vicinity. Follow these important steps to prepare yourself and your family for the storm.

  • Purchase a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Weather Radio with a battery backup and tone-alert feature. The radio will automatically alert you when a winter storm watch or warning has been issued.
  • Determine where you would go and how you would get there if you needed to leave your home to stay with friends or relatives in an unaffected area.
  • Keep your car fueled and in good running condition.
  • Gather emergency supplies and have them on hand in case a winter storm approaches. Keep a snow shovel, rock salt to melt ice, sand to improve traction, flashlights, fresh water, and non-perishable foods handy.
  • Prepare for possible isolation in your home. Make sure you have emergency heating equipment and fuel so you can keep at least one room of your house warm enough to be livable in the event that regular fuel sources are cut off. If you have a wood stove or fireplace, store a good supply of dry, seasoned wood.
  • Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure your family knows how to use them.
  • Winterize your home to conserve your fuel supply and save money. Insulate walls and attics. Caulk and weatherstrip doors and windows. Install storm windows or cover windows with plastic.
  • Winterize your family by having appropriate clothing for the weather. Have several layers of loose-fitting, light-weight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing for each person. Have a good supply of coats, hats, mittens, gloves, boots, and scarves.