Winter Storm Preparedness Tips Provided by IEMA
Winter storm tips for home
- Make sure your Emergency Kit is stocked and winter storm ready.
- Use sand to improve traction and apply products that melt ice on walkways.
- Make sure you have sufficient heating fuel. Regular fuel sources may be cut off.
- Keep emergency heating equipment and fuel so you can keep at least one room of your house warm enough to be livable.
- Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure your family knows how to use them.
- Winterize your home to extend the life of your fuel supply. Insulate walls, attics, doors, and windows.
- Install storm windows or cover windows with plastic.
- Do not overexert yourself or work outside for extended periods of time.
Winter storm tips for traveling
- Make sure your car is in good operating condition before using it in extreme cold.
- Keep condensation (water) out of your gas tank by keeping the tank as full as possible.
- Maintain a storm kit in your car with such items as a cell phone and charger; blankets; extra clothing; jumper cables; a flashlight; extra batteries; high-calorie, non-perishable food; and matches or a lighter.
- Plan your trip carefully. If cold, snowy, or icy conditions exceed your ability or your car's ability, don't travel. If you must travel be cautious.
- Tell someone about your travel plans.
- Never leave the motor running in a vehicle parked in an enclosed or partially enclosed space, such as a garage.
For Additional Information
IEMA Winter Weather Preparedness Guide
Red Cross Winter Storm Preparedness Guide
Red Cross Winter Storm Safety Checklist
IDPH Weathering Winter
Flooding Preparedness Tips Provided by FEMA
To prepare for a flood, you should:
- Avoid building in a flood-prone area unless you elevate and reinforce your home.
- Elevate the furnace, water heater, and electric panel if susceptible to flooding.
- Install "check valves" in sewer traps to prevent floodwater from backing up into the drains of your home.
- Contact community officials to find out if they are planning to construct barriers (levees, beams, floodwalls) to stop floodwater from entering the homes in your area.
- Seal the walls in your basement with waterproofing compounds to avoid seepage.
If a flood is likely in your area, you should:
- Listen to the radio or television for information.
- Be aware that flash flooding can occur. If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move immediately to higher ground. Do not wait for instructions to move.
- Be aware of streams, drainage channels, canyons, and other areas known to flood suddenly. Flash floods can occur in these areas with or without such typical warnings as rain clouds or heavy rain.
- If you must prepare to evacuate, you should do the following:
- If you have to leave your home, remember these evacuation tips:
- Secure your home. If you have time, bring in outdoor furniture. Move essential items to an upper floor.
- Turn off utilities at the main switches or valves if instructed to do so. Disconnect electrical appliances. Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.
- Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall. If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
- Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely. You and the vehicle can be quickly swept away.
Driving Flood Facts
- Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars causing loss of control and possible stalling.
- A foot of water will float many vehicles.
- Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles including sport utility vehicles (SUV’s) and pick-ups.
Tornado Preparedness Tips Provided by FEMA
What to do Before a Tornado
- be alert to changing weather conditions
- listen to NOAA Weather Radio or to commercial radio or television newscasts for the latest information
- look for approaching storms
- look for the following danger signs:
- dark, often greenish sky
- large hail
- a large, dark, low-lying cloud (particularly if rotating)
- loud roar, similar to a freight train
*if you see approaching storms or any of the danger signs or are under a tornado WARNING, be prepared to take shelter immediately
What to do During a Tornado
If you are in:
A structure (e.g. residence, small building, school, nursing home, hospital, factory, shopping center, high-rise building)
Go to a pre-designated shelter area such as a safe room, basement, storm cellar, or the lowest building level. If there is no basement, go to the center of an interior room on the lowest level (closet, interior hallway) away from corners, windows, doors, and outside walls. Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside. Get under a sturdy table and use your arms to protect your head and neck. Do not open windows.
A vehicle, trailer, or mobile home
Get out immediately and go to the lowest floor of a sturdy, nearby building or a storm shelter. Mobile homes, even if tied down, offer little protection from tornadoes.
The outside with no shelter
Lie flat in a nearby ditch or depression and cover your head with your hands. Be aware of the potential for flooding.
Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You are safer in a low, flat location.
Never try to outrun a tornado in urban or congested areas in a car or truck. Instead, leave the vehicle immediately for safe shelter.
Watch out for flying debris. Flying debris from tornadoes causes most fatalities and injuries.
For more tips regarding emergency preparedess, visit http://www.fema.gov