What to Do - Extreme Temperatures - Cold

Cold snaps and heat waves can be challenging and deadly as any other natural disaster. You can successfully weather these time through careful pre-season preparation and the right strategies.

Winter Terms to Know

Freezing Rain - Rain that freezes on contact with roads, trees, sidewalks, power lines, etc.

Sleet - Rain that freezes before hitting the ground.

Winter Storm Watch - A winter storm is possible in the area.

Blizzard Warning - Winds or gusts at 35 mph or greater, along with snow, are expected to last 3 hours or more.

Winter Storm Warning - A winter storm is occurring or will begin soon.

Frost/Freeze Warning - Temperatures are expected to drop below freezing.

Preparing for a Winter Storm

  • Stock up on food, water, medicines and heating fuel.
  • Secure back-up heat sources, such as kerosene heaters. Never use charcoal, gas or propane heaters indoors.
  • Buy gags of rock salt and sand for use on icy sidewalks and driveways.
  • Weather-strip windows and doors to help seal out cold air and drafts.

During and After A Winter Storm

  • Conserve hearing fuel by shutting off unused rooms.
  • Wear several layers of clothing and a hat outdoors.
  • Don't overexert yourself while shoveling snow.
  • Watch for signs of frostbite; loss of feeling along with paleness in tip of nose, fingers, toes and ear lobes.
  • Beware of hypothermia. Signs include uncontrollable shivering, slurred speech, drowsiness, memory loss and disorientation.
  • Avoid driving at night or alone. Notify others of your schedule and route.

If your Vehicle is Stranded in a Blizzard

  • Pull off the road and turn on your hazard lights.
  • Do not start walking unless you can see a building where you can take shelter.
  • If no buildings are in sight, stay in your vehicle, where rescuers are more likely to find you.
  • Wrap yourself in blankets, or use seat covers, floor mats and maps/papers.
  • Run the engine for ten minutes each hour to keep warm. Open a window slightly for ventilation.
  • Balance use of the heater and lights to conserve the battery.
  • If stuck in a remote location, spell out "HELP" or "SOS" with rocks or branches.