snowfall and extreme cold can immobilize an entire region.
Even areas that normally experience mild winters can
be hit with a major snowstorm or extreme cold. Winter
storms can result in flooding, storm surge, closed highways,
blocked roads, downed power lines and hypothermia.
yourself with these terms to help identify a winter
Rain - Rain that freezes when it hits
the ground, creating a coating of ice on roads,
walkways, trees and power lines.
- Rain that turns to ice pellets before reaching
the ground. Sleet also causes moisture on
roads to freeze and become slippery.
Storm Watch - A winter storm is possible
in your area. Tune in to National Oceanic
& Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather
Radio, commercial radio, or television for
Storm Warning - A winter storm is occurring
or will soon occur in your area.
Warning - Sustained winds or frequent
gusts to 35 miles per hour or greater and
considerable amounts of falling or blowing
snow (reducing visibility to less than a quarter
mile) are expected to prevail for a period
of three hours or longer.
Warning - Below freezing temperatures
a winter storm or under conditions of extreme cold:
to your radio, television or NOAA Weather Radio for
weather reports and emergency information.
regularly and drink ample fluids to avoid dehydration,
but avoid caffeine and alcohol.
overexertion when shoveling snow. Overexertion can
bring on a heart attack - a major cause of death in
winter. If you must shovel snow, stretch before going
outside and rest often.
for signs of frostbite. These include loss of feeling
and a white or pale appearance in extremities such
as fingers, toes, ear lobes, and the tip of the nose.
If symptoms are detected, get medical aid immediately.
for signs of hypothermia. These include uncontrollable
shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence,
slurred speech, drowsiness, and apparent exhaustion.
If symptoms of hypothermia are detected, get the victim
to a warm location, remove wet clothing, warm the
center of the body first, and give warm, non-alcoholic
beverages if the victim is conscious. Get medial aid
as soon as possible.
fuel, if necessary, by keeping your home cooler than
normal. Temporarily close off heat to some rooms.
ventilation when using kerosene heaters to avoid build-up
of toxic fumes. Refuel kerosene heaters outside and
keep them at least three feet from flammable objects.
only if it is absolutely necessary. If you must drive,
consider the following:
in the daytime, don't travel alone and keep others
informed of your schedule and route.
on main roads, avoid back roads and shortcuts.
a blizzard traps you in a vehicle, keep these
guidelines in mind:
off the highway, turn on hazard lights and
hang a bright distress flag from the radio
antenna or window.
in your vehicle where rescuers are most likely
to find you. DO NOT set out on foot unless
you can see a building close by where you
can take shelter.
a Survival Kit in your car with essential
survival supplies including food and water.
the engine and heater about 10 minutes each
hour to keep warm. When the engine is running,
open an upwind window slightly for ventilation
to prevent carbon monoxide buildup. Periodically
clear snow from the tailpipe as needed.
to maintain body heat, but avoid overexertion.
In extreme cold, use road maps, seat covers,
and floor mats for insulation. Huddle with
passengers and use your coat for a blanket.
turns sleeping; one person should be awake
at all times to look for rescue crews.
careful not to waste battery power. Balance
electrical energy needs - lights, heat and
radio - with supply.
on inside light at night so rescuers can see