Cold snaps and heat waves can be challenging and deadly as any other natural disaster. You can successfully weather these time through careful pre-season preparation and the right strategies.
Winter Terms to Know
- Rain that freezes on contact with roads, trees, sidewalks, power lines, etc.
- Rain that freezes before hitting the ground.
Winter Storm Watch
- A winter storm is possible in the area.
- Winds or gusts at 35 mph or greater, along with snow, are expected to last 3 hours or more.
Winter Storm Warning
- A winter storm is occurring or will begin soon.
- Temperatures are expected to drop below freezing.
Preparing for a Winter Storm
During and After A Winter Storm
- Stock up on food, water, medicines and heating fuel.
- Secure back-up heat sources, such as kerosene heaters. Never use charcoal, gas or propane heaters indoors.
- Buy gags of rock salt and sand for use on icy sidewalks and driveways.
- Weather-strip windows and doors to help seal out cold air and drafts.
If your Vehicle is Stranded in a Blizzard
- Conserve hearing fuel by shutting off unused rooms.
- Wear several layers of clothing and a hat outdoors.
- Don't overexert yourself while shoveling snow.
- Watch for signs of frostbite; loss of feeling along with paleness in tip of nose, fingers, toes and ear lobes.
- Beware of hypothermia. Signs include uncontrollable shivering, slurred speech, drowsiness, memory loss and disorientation.
- Avoid driving at night or alone. Notify others of your schedule and route.
- Pull off the road and turn on your hazard lights.
- Do not start walking unless you can see a building where you can take shelter.
- If no buildings are in sight, stay in your vehicle, where rescuers are more likely to find you.
- Wrap yourself in blankets, or use seat covers, floor mats and maps/papers.
- Run the engine for ten minutes each hour to keep warm. Open a window slightly for ventilation.
- Balance use of the heater and lights to conserve the battery.
- If stuck in a remote location, spell out "HELP" or "SOS" with rocks or branches.