Be Prepared for Winter Storm
Living in the Midwest, we are no stranger to winter weather. Although the 2023 winter storm season has been quiet so far, these storms can strike at any time, bringing extreme cold, freezing rain, snow, ice, and high winds. Here are some tips to being prepared for that inevitable next winter storm.
Winter storms can:
- Place older adults, younger children, and sick individuals at greater risk for severe illness.
- Last anywhere from a few hours to several days.
- Knock out heat, power, and communication services.
Words to Know
Frostbite – a medical condition when skin or body tissue is damaged from freezing. It’s most common in exposed parts of the body that are farthest from your heart such as fingers, toes, ears, and nose.
Hypothermia – a sickness when your body temperature drops below what is needed to be healthy and work properly. It is the opposite of heat stroke.
Freezing Rain – rain that freezes when it hits the ground, creating a layer of ice on roads, walkways, trees, and power lines.
Sleet – rain that turns to ice before reaching the ground.
Protect Yourself – and Others
- Stay off the roads.
- Stay indoors and dress warm.
- Prepare for power outages.
- Use generators outside only.
- Listen for emergency information and alerts.
- Look for signs of hypothermia and frostbite.
- Check on your neighbors.
Take Protective Measures
- Use carbon monoxide sensors with a battery backup on every floor.
- Do not use heating and cooking devices intended for outdoor use that are not designed with ventilation.
- Do not use indoor cooking devices (your oven and stove) as a source of heat.
- Know and watch for signs of hypothermia and frostbite.
- Avoid overexertion to decrease risk of heart attack.
- Stay off the roads in dangerous conditions; winterize your vehicle; avoid driving; if trapped, remain in your vehicle.
Everyone’s circumstances are unique. Please visit FEMA’s Winter Storm Preparedness website for additional information and to learn more.