By Susan Sanders

Are you prepared for winter weather?


October 20, 2022

As winter approaches, National Weather Service forecasters encourage people to prepare for extreme snow and cold conditions by taking the following actions.

• Make sure your vehicle is ready for cold temperatures by having its battery, antifreeze, wipers and windshield washer, ignition, thermostat and tires checked.

• Assemble an emergency supply kit for each vehicle. It should contain a windshield scraper, jumper cables, tool kit, tow chain or rope, tire chains, bag of sand or cat litter, shovel, flashlight with extra batteries and first aid kit.

• Even if you do not make long trips, always have warm boots, coat, hat, gloves and a blanket with you – you may need them if your car breaks down or you have an accident.

• Before taking longer trips, add extra clothes, sleeping bags, a portable radio, high-calorie non-perishable food, matches and candles, and large coffee cans for sanitary purposes or burning candles.

• You can make your home more energy efficient by adding insulation, caulking and weather-striping doors and window sills, and installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic. Keep an adequate supply of fuel or get a backup heating source.

• Learn how to operate stoves, fireplaces and space heaters safely and have proper ventilation to use them. Also have flashlights, candles, matches, a battery-powered radio, extra batteries, and a first-aid kit available in case you lose electric service for an extended time.

• Throughout the season; monitor Internet websites, NOAA Weather Radio, or local radio or television stations for forecasts and information about impending storms. Know what actions to take for each situation.

• A WINTER STORM WATCH means a dangerous winter storm is possible. Watches are issued to give people adequate time to prepare for hazardous conditions before they develop. When a watch has been issued, ensure you have a supply of high energy food or food that requires no cooking, one gallon of water per day for each person, and fuel for the duration of the storm. Don't forget special items for your family such as prescription medicine, baby formula, diapers and pet food! Consider having elderly, ill or oxygen-dependent family, friends and neighbors who live in rural areas stay someplace where heat and electric power will be available. Check with your county emergency manager if shelters are opened. Postpone long trips or take a different route.

• WINTER STORM AND BLIZZARD WARNINGS mean a dangerous storm will occur. If you have no heat, close off unneeded rooms and wear extra clothes and do not operate power generators and barbeque grills indoors. Do not travel. You are safer to stay where you are rather than stranded in a ditch.

• WINTER WEATHER ADVISORIES notify people to use caution when traveling or spending time outdoors in those conditions.

• WIND CHILL WARNINGS AND ADVISORIES describe the risk of frostbite and hypothermia during cold and windy conditions. Stay inside as much as possible. If you go outdoors, wear several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight clothing and water-repellent outer garments. Cover all parts of your body, especially your head, face and hands. When working outdoors, do not overexert yourself. Remove damp clothing as soon as possible to avoid becoming chilled.

Additional information on preparing for winter weather is available from your county emergency management office, American Red Cross, or National Weather Service at


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