Your family may not be together when a winter storm hits, so it is important to have a plan in place that will help you respond to the situation. It is important to:
Discuss with your family what to do if a winter storm watch or warning is issued.
Ensure your family knows meeting places and phone numbers of other family members in case they are stranded or separated when a winter storm hits.
Know what to do if basic services such as water, gas, electricity or telephones are out of service for an extended period of time.
Understand the hazards of wind chill. Cold temperatures are even more dangerous, and potentially deadly, when combined with strong winds. The lower the temperature and stronger the wind, the more at risk you are.
Check on family, friends and neighbors, especially the elderly. Make sure they are aware and prepared.
Plan to bring pets inside during winter weather. Move livestock to sheltered areas where non-frozen drinking water is available.
Have an alternate heating method such as fireplace or wood or coal burning stove. Always use caution while using a portable space heater.
Install and check smoke and carbon monoxide alarms; especially important if you are using alternative heat sources.
Let some interior faucets drip to avoid freezing and know how to shut off the “master” water valves if necessary.
Have your car winterized before winter storm season. Keep your gas tank full for emergency use and to keep the fuel line from freezing.
Make sure your home is properly insulated. Caulk and weather-strip doors and windowsills.
Install storm windows or cover windows with plastic from the inside.
To keep pipes from freezing, wrap them in insulation, towels or layers of newspapers. Cover the newspapers with plastic to keep out moisture.