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Tips for Cold Weather

When the temperature begins to cool off, everyone should begin to prepare for winter weather. Multiple illnesses can be caused by extremely cold weather, flu season goes in full effect and ice makes the road extremely dangerous. Below are tips from to prepare for winter weather.

winter weather preparedness tips

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Create an Emergency Kit for
your Home and Vehicle

Home Emergency Kit

  • Build an emergency kit with supplies to last for at least 72 hours

  • Water: one gallon per person per day

  • Food: at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food

  • Battery powered radio 

  • First aid kit

  • Flashlight and extra batteries

  • Whistle to signal for help

  • Cell phone charger and a backup battery

  • Medications

  • Matches

Car Emergency Kit

  • Jumper cables

  • Flares or reflective triangle

  • Ice scraper

  • Car cell phone charger

  • Cat litter or sand for better tire traction

  • Blankets 

  • Water and non-perishable food


Frostbite is a very serious condition caused by exposure to extremely cold temperatures.​ Below are symptoms of frostbite. If you detect any of these symptoms, seek medical attention.

  • A white or grayish-yellow skin area

  • Skin that feels unusually firm or waxy

  • Numbness

Prepare your Home
for Winter
  • Make sure you have weather stripping around doors and window sills to keep warm air inside

  • Replace batteries in your smoke detector or carbon monoxide detector

  • Keep a fire extinguisher on hand (fires are more prevalent in the wintertime due to alternative sources of heat)

  • Know how to shut off water valves in case a pipe bursts

  • Install storm windows to insulate your home, or cover windows with plastic from the inside to keep cold air out

  • Have at least one of the following heat sources in case the power goes out: extra blankets, sleeping bags, warm winter coats, gas log fireplace or wood-burning fireplace

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning is often caused by increased use of gas-powered furnaces and alternative heating, cooking and power sources used inappropriately indoors.

  • Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or gas burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or partially enclosed area

  • Install carbon monoxide alarms in central locations on every level of your home to provide early warning

  • If the alarm sounds, move quickly outside or by an open window or door

  • Call for help and remain in a fresh air location until help arrives

Winter Weather Terminology

Hypothermia occurs when the body temperature is extremely low, caused by exposure to extremely cold temperatures. Below are warning signs of your body losing heat faster than it is produced.

  • Adults: shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech, drowsiness

  • Infants: bright red, cold skin, very low energy

  • If you notice any of these signs, take the person's temperature. If it is below 95 degrees Fahrenheit, the situation is an emergency and you should seek medical attention immediately. 

It is important to know the difference between a winter watch, warning and other winter weather alerts so that you know what to prepare for.​

  • Winter Storm Watch: A winter storm is possible in your area (heavy snow/ice may affect your area within the next 12 to 36 hours)

  • Winter Storm Warning: A winter storm is occurring or will soon occur in your area

  • Frost/Freeze Warning: Below freezing temperatures are expected

  • Wind Chill: This is the temperature it "feels like" when you're outside

  • Freezing Rain: Rain that freezes when it hits the ground, creating a coating of ice on roads, walkways, trees and power lines

For more information, check out this Winter Preparedness Guide from FEMA.

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