Are You Prepared for Winter Weather?
Know Your Risk
Several terms are used in weather forecasts to describe winter weather. Make sure you know what they mean.
Blizzard Warning – Sustained winds or gusts of ≥ 35mph with significant falling or blowing snow limiting visibility to ≤ ¼ mile; expected to continue for 3 or more hours
Blizzard Watch – Sustained winds or gusts of ≥ 35mph with significant falling or blowing snow limiting visibility to ≤ ¼ mile; expected to continue for 3 or more hours is possible within the next 36 hours
Freeze/Frost Warning – Widespread frost during growing season; temperatures at or below 32F expected
Heavy Snow Warning – Heavy snowfall amounts are imminent
Ice Storm Warning – Heavy ice accumulation is occurring or imminent; ranges from ¼ to ½ inch or more of freezing rain
Sleet – Rain that turns to ice before reaching the ground
Snow Advisory – Moderate snowfall amounts are occurring or imminent
Winter Storm Warning – Winter storm is imminent or occurring; conditions include snow, freezing rain/sleet and strong winds
Winter Storm Watch – Winter storm is possible in your area within the next 36 hours
Winter Weather Advisory – Hazardous weather conditions are likely or imminent; used for combination of two or more conditions including snow, freeze rain/drizzle, sleet and blowing snow
Winter weather, including winter storms and extreme cold negatively impact your health. Know how to keep warm, and the signs of hypothermia.
Create a preparedness plan and kit for you and your family. In addition to your family, think about your car and home when preparing for winter weather.
Keeping a winter weather kit in your car is vital! The kit could include:
- Extra cell phone charter, batteries, and cords
- Food and water
- First aid kit
- Jumper cables, flares, tire pump, and sand or cat litter
How to prepare your home
- Install weather stripping, insulation and storm windows
- Insulate water lines
- Clean out gutters and repair roof leaks
- Check your heating system
- Install, and check, carbon monoxide detectors