Winter Storm Safety Tips

January 17, 2016

Now that we are in the dead of winter, I thought it would be a good opportunity to share some winter storm safety tips. It’s no secret that the coldest day of the year usually falls in January, in fact it is often on this very day. This is historically true here in Coal City, and this phenomenon spans from Illinois to the Northeast. Oddly enough, the Western States generally experience their coldest day in mid-December. Are you ready to face the extreme cold? Have you prepared your home for an unforeseen emergency? Do you have the supplies to endure a winter storm? The winter storm safety tips below are a good start to help you prepare for unexpected circumstances.

Top Winter Storm Safety Tips

Stock up on Supplies: In the event of extreme snowfalls or freezing rain, the roads may be blocked & the power may be off. You should keep an ample supply of food and water on-hand throughout the winter months including the following:

  • Water: Keep a three-day supply of water, not only for drinking but cooking and cleaning as well. The Red Cross recommends a minimum of one gallon of water per day per person.
  • Food: Stock your pantry with at least a 3-day supply of non-perishable food goods. Purchase items that are easy to prepare.
  • Baby Supplies: This deserves its own category; not only do you need a supply of baby food, you also need an ample supply of diapers, formula, bottles. This is good time to consider baby bottles with disposable liners.
  • Batteries: Stock up on batteries. If you use rechargeable batteries, keep theme topped off in the winter.
  • Flashlights: Test your flashlights. Keep one in every nightstand in your home.
  • Pet Supplies: You can’t forget about Fido. Your pet needs three days of food and water as well.
  • Firewood: If you have a wood stove, or a fireplace you should keep a stockpile of firewood so you can warm a portion of your home should the power go off.

Protecting Your Home in a Storm

Okay, you have stocked your pantry and charged your batteries, but how do you protect your home in severe weather. When extreme weather hits, in particular an extended ice storm with high winds, trees may fall and powerlines will be down. What if a fallen tree or branch breaks a window in your home and the heat is off? Keep a roll of thick heavy-duty plastic and a staple gun in your garage. As a temporary measure you can cover the window to maintain an above freezing temperature in your home. Better yet, a sheet of plywood and a few wood screws will keep the winter weather out.

Get the Red Cross Winter Storm Safety App!

Download the American Red Cross Emergency app to receive weather alerts for your area:

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