Winter Storm Warnings: How to Prepare and Safety Advice

Winter Storm Warnings: How to Prepare and Safety Advice

How Do Winter Storms Happen?

Significant snowfalls, bitterly cold temperatures, coastal floods, beach erosion, and heavy, wet snow or ice are all potential effects of winter storms warning.

Why Get Prepared?

An entire region can cut off by severe winter weather. It may result in power outages, communications interruptions, and roof collapses. Winter storms are linked to storm-related fatalities brought on by:

  • Automobile collisions 
  • Heart attacks resulting from the effort 
  • Instances involving carbon monoxide 
  • Freezing to death 

Take the necessary safety measures to safeguard yourself and your family and reduce the risks of winter storms.

Watches and warnings for winter storms

Blizzard watches, and warnings are issue by the National Weather Service to alert people about approaching winter storms. Understanding the distinctions between these cautions can help you know how to keep safe.

Winter Storm Watches

Due to the characteristics of an impending storm, the criteria for a winter storm warning, blizzard warning, or ice storm warning will likely be met.

Winter Storm Warning 

Within the next 12 to 36 hours, 6″ or more snow in 12 hours (or 8″ or more in 24 hours) is predicted.

  • Blizzard Warning: For at least three hours, visibility will be less than 1/4 mile due to sustained wind gusts of more than 35 mph AND significant snowfall and blowing.
  • Twelve inches or more of freezing rain is predicted during an ice storm.

Earlier than a Winter Storm

  1. Get public safety alerts, advice, and information to be informed before, during, and after catastrophes.
  2. Make a strategy for family emergencies and go over it.
  • If you get dialysis, medical treatments, or home healthcare services and cannot leave your residence, work with your healthcare practitioner to determine how to continue care and service.
  1. Create an emergency supply kit. Seasonal materials, such as extra winter clothing and blankets, should  included in your emergency supply kit.
  2. Observe the guidance provided by public safety officials.
  3. In case there are power outages, be prepared.
  • Charge your phone, laptop, and other electrical gadgets to capacity if power outages are expected before a storm.
  • If the medical equipment you use is electrically powered, consider your options in the event of a power outage with your personal support network, the utility company, and your healthcare providers. If you want assistance during an outage, talk to your network of friends and family.
  • Consider purchasing a generator to supply power during a blackout. Before a power loss, read the manufacturer’s instructions and become familiar with safe usage.
  • 4. Make your home ready for any unforeseen crisis.
  • Clear the area around your home of dead or decaying trees or branches that could fall and cause harm or property damage.
  • Rain gutters should cleaned out to allow water to drain from your house. If gutters are clog with debris, melting snow and ice may accumulate.
  • Your home’s smoke and carbon monoxide alarms should have fresh batteries.
  • Have your chimneys and heating equipment cleaned and examined annually to maintain them.
  • Ensure that your house has adequate insulation. To keep cold air out, weatherstrip and caulk doors and windows. Install storm windows or line windows with plastic from the inside to provide insulation.
  • Ensure you have enough heating fuel, and think about secure backup heating solutions like fireplaces or woodstoves.

During the Winter Storm

  1. Reduce your outside activities. Only use your car when it is essential. Use MEMA’s winter driving safety advice if you must go.
  2. Winter pet safety advice will keep your pets safe.
  3. To be weatherproof, wear appropriate clothing for the season. Instead of a single thick layer, dress in numerous loose-fitting, lightweight clothing layers. Water-repellent, closely woven clothing should worn outside. Put on a cap, mittens (not gloves), and strong waterproof boots to protect your extremities. To safeguard your lungs, drape a scarf over your mouth.
  4. Follow our extreme cold safety advice when the weather is freezing.
  5. Watch the alert for symptoms of hypothermia and frostbite.

Following a winter storm warning

  1. For updates on emergencies, keep an eye on the news.
  2. Observe the guidance provided by public safety officials.
  3. To report emergencies, such as broken power lines and gas leaks, dial 9-1-1.
  4. To locate warming centres or shelters close to you or to get answers to any other storm-related inquiries, contact your local authorities or dial 2-1-1.
  5. You might need to travel to a warming centre or emergency shelter to stay warm if there are power outages during cold weather. Inform your utility company of any power interruptions.
  6. Avoid touching any downed power lines. A downed electrical line is always presume to be live.
  7. Till the roads and streets are snow-free, avoid them.
  8. To avoid overexertion when shovelling snow, use caution and take frequent rests. A heart attack, a leading wintertime cause of mortality, can be triggered by excessive exercise.
  9. Clean the exhaust vents to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning from direct vent gas furnace systems. As a silent, odourless killer, Verify the functionality of your carbon monoxide detectors.
  10. Before starting the automobile, remove the snow from the area around the exhaust pipes to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
  11. As their fumes contain carbon monoxide, ensure emergency generators or secondary heating systems are adequately vent. Additional safety advice for generators.
  12. Storm drains and fire hydrants in your neighbourhood should dug out.
  13. Clear snow from your property’s walkway, including any surrounding curb cuts, to make it accessible for wheelchair users. Communities have different rules and obligations for homeowners and businesses to clear pavements. Still, even if it’s not necessary, please do so to ensure everyone may move safely.
  14. Snow removal from walkways, access ramps, and parking spaces for people with disabilities should done by property owners and companies and may mandated.
  15. To prevent roof collapses, inspect your roof and remove any snow accumulation.

Understanding Winter Storm Warnings

Avoid travel

A winter storm warning indicates the presence of considerable amounts of ice, snow, blowing snow, sleet, or a combination of these. This results in bad driving conditions in many parts of the country (we’re looking at you, southern states).

Stay at home. To avoid ice spots on highways and bridges, stick to well-travelled city streets if you must drive.

Ensure the functionality of your carbon monoxide detectors. 

Check the functionality of your carbon monoxide detector if you heat your home using a source other than electricity or solar power. Heating fuels like wood, natural gas, propane, and others can produce this lethal, colourless, odourless gas. If your home contains carbon monoxide, you need a reliable alarm system.

Keep warm

Your home may be tough to heat when the weather becomes colder. Here are some suggestions for staying warm:

Set up a space to serve as your “warming station.”

As much as feasible, let guests like dogs, family members, and roommates stay in this room (with the doors shut). The space will remain warmer thanks to body heat. 

For insulation, drape blankets or quilts over windows and open entrances.

Turn your ceiling fans anticlockwise to force Warm air to descend to your level from the ceiling. Just below the fan blades is a switch that modifies the fan’s direction.

Never use your cooker or oven to heat your home.

Don’t use your cooker or oven as a heating source, even though you can take advantage of the chilly weather to improve your baking and add to the heat in your home. If you leave your stove or oven on, you run a higher risk of fire, unintentional burns, and CO poisoning. 


We talked about winter storm warnings in this article. Winter storms can cause heavy, wet snow or ice, severely cold temperatures, coastal floods, beach erosion, and large amounts of snow or ice. When the Winter Storm hitCut back on your outside activities. Use your car only when required. If you must drive, follow MEMA’s winter driving safety recommendations. Follow these tips to keep your dogs safe this winter storm warning. Wear the proper seasonal attire to stay weatherproof. Dress with multiple layers of loose-fitting, lightweight clothing instead of bulky clothing. Outside, you should wear clothing that is tightly woven and water-resistant. Put on a cap, mittens (not gloves), and sturdy waterproof boots to protect your extremities. Put a scarf over your mouth to protect your lungs.

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