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Winter Storms

Winter Storms

Be Prepared:


Freezing Rain: Rain that freezes when it hits the ground. It leaves ice on the roadways.
Sleet: Rain that turns to ice pellets before it hits the ground.
Winter Storm Watch: A winter storm is possible in your area.
Winter Storm Warning: A winter storm is occurring or will soon occur in your area.
Blizzard Warning: Considerable amounts of falling or blowing snow, with winds up to 35 miles per hour cause low visibility.


  • Winterize your car:
    • Refill antifreeze
    • Check and repair windshield wiper equipment
    • Check lights and hazard lights
    • Check tires for wear, consider snow tires
    • Keep fuel tank at least half full
  • Gather and have supplies easily accessible to keep warm in case of power outage, including blankets, hand warmers and warm clothing.
  • Have a heat alternative and fuel supply in case of power outage.

Winter Storm-Specific Items to Add to Preparedness Kit

  • Warm clothing (e.g., hats, mittens, scarves, wool socks, etc.)
  • Ice Scraper/Shovel for your car
  • Salt or sand to melt ice

Be Safe:


  • Severe winter storms are usually preceded by strong winds and snow.


  • Avoid overexertion when shoveling snow; this could cause heart attack or other health complications.
  • Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia. See Extreme Cold
  • Maintain ventilation when using kerosene heaters to avoid toxic fumes.  Keep away from flammable objects.
  • Drive only if it is necessary:
    • Travel during the day.
    • Update a family member or friend of destination and travel timeframe.
    • Stay on main roads.
    • Remember to take it slow on ice and snow.
  • Avoid walking under heavily iced tree branches or buildings.


  • Check and restock emergency supply kit.

More Information/Additional Resources:

FEMA Winter Weather: http://www.ready.gov/winter-weather
FEMA Accessible: Lifesaving Safety Tips PSA (ASL Video)