Winter Weather

Are You Ready for a Winter Storm?

Here's what you can do to prepare for such an emergency.

  • Prepare a winter storm plan
  • Have extra blankets on hand
  • Ensure that each member of your household has a warm coat, gloves or mittens, hat and water-resistant boots
  • Assemble a disaster supplies kit containing:
    • First aid kit and essential medication
    • Battery-powered NOAA Weather Radio and portable radio, flashlight, and extra batteries
    • Canned food and non-electric can opener
    • Bottled water
  • Have your car winterized before winter storm season
  • Assemble a disaster supplies kit for your car
  • Stay tuned for storm warnings on NOAA Weather Radio or your local radio and TV stations

Winter Storm Watch

A winter storm watch means a winter storm is possible in your area. When a winter storm watch is issued:

  • Listen to NOAA Weather Radio, local radio and TV stations.
  • Be alert to changing weather conditions.
  • Avoid unnecessary travel.

Winter Storm Warning

A winter storm warning means a winter storm is headed for your area. A blizzard warning means strong winds, blinding wind-driven snow, and dangerous wind chills are expected. Seek shelter immediately. 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 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, be extremely careful if you shovel snow. It is physically strenuous work, so take frequent breaks. Avoid overexertion.