Empower Blog

January 17, 2023

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.

Quick Facts

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.

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About the Author
Jennie Darby
Jennie Darby

CommunityAmerica Insurance Agency

Jennie Darby currently serves as an Insurance Advisor for CommunityAmerica Insurance Agency. She has been working in insurance since 2001 across a variety of roles. She began working in claims and eventually owned her own agency for 3 years before joining the credit union in September of 2019. Jennie became an insurance agent after noticing “gaps” in coverage over her 13 years of working in claims. She strives to make individual relationships with each and every member she interacts with to ensure they receive the coverages they truly need.

Jennie graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Madison with a bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts with an emphasis in Public Address. She then went on to get “Mini MBA” from the University of Kansas and received her Women as 21st Century Leaders certification from Park University through the American Business Women’s Association.

In her free time, Jennie enjoys spending time at home in Olathe with her boyfriend, four children, two cats, and dog.