Winter storms create a higher risk of car accidents, hypothermia, frostbite, carbon monoxide poisoning, and heart attacks from overexertion. Winter storms including blizzards can bring extreme cold, freezing rain, snow, ice, and high winds.
A winter storm can:
- Last a few hours or several days.
- Cut off heat, power, and communication services.
- Put older adults, children, sick individuals, and pets at greater risk.
Preparing for Winter Storms:
- Prepare your home to keep out the cold with insulation, caulking, and weather stripping.
- Learn how to keep pipes from freezing.
- Install and test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors with battery backups.
- Gather supplies in case you need to stay home for several days without power.
- Keep in mind each person's specific needs, including medication.
- Remember the needs of your pets.
- Have extra batteries for radios and flashlights.
- If you are unable to afford your heating costs, weatherization, or energy-related home repairs, contact the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) for help.
Staying Safe During Winter Storms:
- Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Only use generators and grills outdoors and away from windows. Never heat your home with a gas stovetop or oven.
- Stay off roads if possible. If trapped in your car, then stay inside.
- Limit your time outside. If you need to go outside, then wear layers of warm clothing. Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia.
- Reduce the risk of a heart attack by avoiding overexertion when shoveling snow and walking in the snow.