for a Winter Storm
a Family Disaster Plan. Please see the "Family
Disaster Plan" section for general family planning information.
Develop a winter storm-specific plan. Learn about your area's winter
storm risk.Different areas have different risks associated with
winter storms. Contact your local Red Cross chapter, emergency management
office, or local National Weather Service office about your area's
winter storm risk.
you are at risk from winter storms:
the hazards of wind chill, which combines the cooling effect of
wind and cold temperatures o exposed skin. As the wind increases,
heat is carried away from a person's body at an accelerated rate,
driving down the body temperature. "Wind chill" is a calculation
of how cold it feels when the effects of wind speed and temperature
are combined. A strong wind combined with a temperature of just
below freezing can have the same effect as a still air temperature
about 35 degrees colder.
snow removal equipment before winter storm season. Equipment should
be available for use if needed. Maintain it in good working
your car's gas tank full for emergency use and to keep the fuel
line from freezing.
training. Take an American Red Cross first aid course to learn how
to treat exposure to the cold, frostbite, and hypothermia.
with your family what to do if a winter storm WATCH or WARNING is
issued. Designate one household member as the winter storm preparedness
leader. Have him or 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. Everyone should know what to do in case all family members
are not together. Discussing winter storms ahead of time helps
reduce fear and lets everyone know how to respond during a winter
Assemble a Disaster Supplies Kit
Please see the section "Disaster Supplies Kit" for general
supplies kit information. Winter Storm-specific supplies should
include the following:
warm coat, gloves or mittens, hat and water-resistant boots for
each member of the family.
-Extra blankets and warm clothing.
-Nonclumping kitty litter. Kitty litter will generate
temporary traction. Rock salt will melt ice on walkways but can
damage vegetation and concrete. Other, less damaging, ice melting
products are available from building supply stores.
-Disaster Suplies Kit basics.
to Protect Your Property
sure your home is properly insulated. If necessary, insulate
walls and attic. This will help you to conserve electricity and
reduce your home's power demands for heat. Caulk and weather-strip
doors and windowsills to keep cold air out, allowing the inside
temperature to stay warmer longer.
storm windows or cover windows with plastic from the inside.
This will provide an extra layer of insulation, keeping more cold
keep pipes from freezing:
pipes in insulation or layers of old newspapers.
the newspapers with plastic to keep out moisture.
faucets drip a little to avoid freezing.
how to shut off water valves.
the pipes freeze, remove any insulation or layers of newspapers
and wrap pipes in rags. Completely open all faucets and pour
hot water over the pipes, starting where they were most exposed
to the cold (or where the cold was most likely to penetrate). A
hand-held hair dryer, used with caution to prevent overheating,
also works well.
storing sufficient heating fuel. Regular fuel sources may be
cut off. Be cautious of fire hazards when storing any type of fuel.
winter, be sure you install and check smoke alarms.
keeping safe emergency heating equipment:
with ample supply of wood.
well-vented wood, coal, or camp stove with fuel.
space heater or kerosene heater. Check with your local fire department
on the legality of using kerosene heaters in your community.
Use only the correct fuel for your unit and follow the manufacturer's instructions.
Refuel outdoors only, and only when cool. Keep your kerosene heater
at least three feet away from furniture and other flammable
using alternative heat from a fireplace, wood stove, space heater,
etc., use fire safeguards and ventilate properly. Fire hazard is
greatly increased in the winter because alternate heating sources
are used without following proper safety precautions.
snow fences in rural areas to reduce drifting in roads and paths,
which could block access to homes, barns, and animals' feed and
you live in a flood-prone area, consider purchasing flood insurance
to cover possible flood damage that may occur during the spring
thaw. Homeowners' policies do not cover damage from floods. Ask
your insurance agent about the National Flood Insurance Program
if you are at risk.
All information obtained from The
American Red Cross