Winter Safety Tips


Winter Storm Watch: Indicates severe winter weather may affect your area.

Winter Storm Warning: Severe winter weather conditions will affect your area.

Blizzard Warning: Large amount of falling or blowing snow with winds of at least 35 miles per hour are expected to last for several hours.

Wind Chill: The effect of wind, in combination with actual temperature, which increases the rate of heat loss to the human body.



Frostbite: Is a severe reaction to cold exposure that can permanently damage its victims. Symtoms include a loss of feeling and a white or pale appearance in fingers, toes, ears and nose.

Hypothermia: Is brought on when the body's core temperature drops below normal. Symtoms include uncontrollable shivering, slow speech, memory lapses, frequent stumbling and drowsiness.

If frostbite or hypothermia is suspected, slowly warm the victim and seek immediate medical assistance.

Overexertion: Cold weather puts an added strain on the heart. Shoveling snow or pushing a car may cause a heart attack. Stay warm, dress warm, and slow down when working outdoors.


  • Get a National Oceanic and Atmosphere Admin. (NOAA) Weather Radio to monitor severe weather.
  • Service snow removal equipment. Use rock salt to melt ice on walkways, and sand to generate traction.
  • Winterize your home.
  • If you use heating oil, maintain an adequate supply.
  • Have safe, emergency heating equipment available and use according to manufacturer's instructions.
  • Check smoke detectors.
  • Protect water pipes from freezing.
  • Have adequate winter supplies on hand.


  • One week supply of food (include items that do not require refrigeration in case the power is lost).
  • Flashlight and extra batteries.
  • Portable battery-operated radio and extra batteries.
  • One week supply of essential medicines.
  • Extra blankets and sleeping bags.
  • First aid kit and fire extinguisher.


  • Several blankets and sleeping bags.
  • Matches and candles.
  • Flashlight and extra batteries.
  • Extra set of mittens, socks and wool cap.
  • First aid kit with pocket knife.
  • Small sack of sand to generate traction.
  • Small shovel, pliers, wrench and screwdriver.
  • Windshield scraper and a small broom.
  • Booster cables and distress flares.
  • A set of tire chains or snow tires.
  • Brightly colored cloth to use as a flag.


STAY IN VEHICLE: DO NOT leave the vehicle to search for assistance unless assistance is visiblewithin 100 feet.

DISPLAY A TROUBLE SIGN: Hang a brightly colored cloth on the radio antenna, raise the hood and turn on hazard lights. At night, use the dome light.

OCCASIONALLY RUN THE ENGINE TO KEEP WARM: Run the heater sparingly. Beware of carbon monoxide poisoning. Keep the exhaust pipe clear, and open the down-wind windows.

DO MINOR EXERCISES TO KEEP UP CIRCULATION: Clap hands, move arms and legs. Try not to stay in one position too long.

IF MORE THAN ONE PERSON IS IN THE CAR: Take turns sleeping and huddle together for warmth.