Extreme winter weather is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of people in the United States each year, primarily due to vehicle crashes, fires from improper use of heaters, overexertion, and exposure.
Familiarize yourself with the following terms to stay alert and prepared
- Wind Chill Advisory – dangerous wind chills of 15 below to 24 below zero are expected.
- Wind Chill Warning – potentially life threatening wind chills of 25 below zero or colder are expected.
- Frost Advisory – damaging frost is expected during the growing season.
- Freeze Warning – below freezing temperatures are expected during the growing season.
- Ice Storm Warning – dangerous accumulations of ice will occur and are expected to result in hazardous travel, extended power outages, and damage to trees.
- Heavy Snow Warning – snow accumulations of six inches or greater, which will result in hazardous travel conditions.
- Winter Weather Advisory – cold, ice, and/or snow (two to five inches) are expected.
- Winter Storm Watch – severe winter weather, such as heavy snow or ice, is possible within the next day or two.
- Winter Storm Warning – severe ice and/or snow (six inches or more) have begun or are about to begin.
- Blizzard Warning – heavy snow and strong winds will produce a blinding snow, near zero visibility, deep drifts, and life-threatening travel conditions.
Winter storm tips for home
- Make sure your Emergency Kit is stocked and winter storm ready.
- Use sand to improve traction and apply products that melt ice on walkways.
- Make sure you have sufficient heating fuel. Regular fuel sources may be cut off.
- Keep emergency heating equipment and fuel so you can keep at least one room of your house warm enough to be livable.
- Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure your family knows how to use them.
- Winterize your home to extend the life of your fuel supply. Insulate walls, attics, doors, and windows.
- Install storm windows or cover windows with plastic.
- Do not overexert yourself or work outside for extended periods of time.
Winter storm tips for traveling
- Make sure your car is in good operating condition before using it in extreme cold.
- Keep condensation (water) out of your gas tank by keeping the tank as full as possible.
- Maintain a storm kit in your car with such items as a cell phone and charger; blankets; extra clothing; jumper cables; a flashlight; extra batteries; high-calorie, non-perishable food; and matches or a lighter.
- Plan your trip carefully. If cold, snowy, or icy conditions exceed your ability or your car’s ability, don’t travel. If you must travel be cautious.
- Tell someone about your travel plans.
- Never leave the motor running in a vehicle parked in an enclosed or partially enclosed space, such as a garage.
- Information provided by the National Weather Service