Emergency Preparedness for Winter Storms:
- Be sure you have properly operating smoke detectors and fire extinguishers.
- Have extra blankets on hand.
- Ensure that each member of your household has a warm coat, gloves or mittens, a hat and water-resistant boots.
Assemble a Disaster Supplies Kit,
- First Aid Kit and essential medications.
- Battery-powered NOAA Weather Radio or portable radio/flashlight and extra batteries.
- Canned food and non-electric can opener.
- Bottled water or emergency water purifications tablets.
- Have your car winterized before winter storm season.
- Stay tuned for storm warnings: Listen to NOAA Weather Radio and your local radio and TV stations for updated storm information.
Know What Winter Storm
WATCHES & WARNINGS are:
- A winter STORM WATCH means a winter storm is possible in your area.
- A winter STORM WARNING means a winter storm is headed for your area.
- A BLIZZARD WARNING means strong winds, a dangerous wind chill and blinding wind-driven snow are expected.
- Seek shelter immediately!
When a Winter Storm WATCH is Issued:
- Listen to NOAA Weather Radio, local radio and TV stations, or cable TV such as The Weather Channel for further updates.
- Be alert to changing weather conditions.
- Avoid unnecessary travel.
When a Winter Storm WARNING is issued:
- Stay indoors during the storm.
- If you must go outside, several layers of lightweight clothing will keep you warmer than a single heavy coat.
- Gloves (or mittens) and a hat will prevent loss of body heat.
- Cover your mouth to protect your lungs.
- Understand the hazards of wind chill, which combines the cooling effect of wind and cold temperatures on exposed skin. As the wind increases, heat is carried away from a person's body at an accelerated rate, driving down the body temperature. Walk carefully on snowy, icy sidewalks.
- After the storm, if you shovel snow, be extremely careful. It is physically strenuous work, so take frequent breaks to avoid overexertion.
Avoid Traveling by Car
in a Storm, But if You Must:
- Have emergency supplies in the trunk (see list below).
- Keep you car's gas tank full for emergency use and to keep the fuel line from freezing.
- Let someone know your destination, your route, and when you expect to arrive.
- If your car gets stuck along the way, help can be sent along your predetermined route.
If You Do Get Stuck:
- Stay with your car.
- Do not try to walk to safety.
- Tie a brightly colored cloth (preferably red) to the antenna for rescuers to see.
- Start the car and use the heater for about 10 minutes every hour.
- Keep the exhaust pipe clear so fumes won't back up into the car.
- Leave the overhead light on when the engine is running so that you can be seen.
- As you sit, keep moving your arms and legs to keep blood circulating and to stay warm.
- Keep one window away from the blowing wind slightly open to let in fresh air.
PLAN & PREPARE
Winter storms bring ice, snow, freezing temperatures and dangerous driving conditions are common. Even small amounts of snow and ice can cause severe problems for southern states where winter storms are infrequent. Be prepared by having various household members do each of the items on the checklist below.
Prepare a Disaster Supplies Kit for your home in a clearly labeled, easy-to-grab box. Include a battery-powered NOAA Weather Radio
and portable radio/flashlight, extra batteries, canned food and non-electric can opener, First Aid supplies (including essential medications) and bottled water.
Location of Disaster Supplies Kit: [_________________]
Put together a separate Disaster Supplies Kit for the trunk of each car used by members of your household. Include blankets, dry clothing, a shovel, sand, tire chains, jumper cables, a First Aid Kit, a flashlight with extra batteries and a brightly colored cloth to tie to the antenna.
Car Emergency Kit Prepared & Placed in Car(s):
Winterize the car(s) before winter storm season.
Car(s) Winterized on: [_________________] (Date)
Designate one household member as the Winter Storm Preparedness Leader. Have him/her discuss what to do if a Winter Storm Watch or Warning is issued. Have another household member state what he or she would do if caught outside or in a vehicle during a winter storm.
Household Winter Storm Preparedness Leader:
Take an American Red Cross
First Aid course to learn how to treat exposure to the cold, frostbite and hypothermia.
Household Member(s) Trained in First Aid:
Certifications Good Through: [_________________] (Date)
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