Winter Storm Preparedness

As we await the arrival of the upcoming North East storm, below are some tips from

For a complete list be sure to visit,

Before the storm:

  • Create an Emergency Kit. Before winter approaches, create a emergency kit with items such as a supply of food and water for at least three days, first aid kit, and personal sanitation items. For a complete list, visit  the  emergency kit.
  • Have sufficient heating fuel. Often regular fuel sources may be cut off and you may stuck in your home, ensure that you have sufficient heating fuel. Be sure to store supply of dry and seasoned wood for your fireplace or wood burning stove.
  • Stay warm. Ensure you have adequate clothing and blankets to keep you and your family warm.
  • Sign up for alerts and warnings.  Know Your Alerts and Warnings for a summary of notifications NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts alerts and warnings directly from the NWS for all hazards. You may also sign up in advance to receive notifications from your local emergency services. Download FEMA’s Be Smart app.

During the storm:

  • Be aware of driving conditions. Drive only if it is absolutely necessary. If you must drive: travel in the day; don’t travel alone; keep others informed of your schedule; stay on main roads and avoid back road shortcuts.
  • Keep dry. Change wet clothing frequently to prevent a loss of body heat.
  • Avoid overexertion. Overexertion while shoveling snow can bring on a heart attack—a major cause of death in the winter. Use caution, take breaks, push the snow instead of lifting it when possible, and lift lighter loads.
  • Look after frozen pipes. If the pipes freeze, remove any insulation or layers of newspapers and wrap pipes in rags. Completely open all faucets and pour hot water over the pipes, starting where they were most exposed to the cold (or where the cold was most likely to penetrate).
  • Hypothermia and Frostbites.
    • The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends, if you detect symptoms of frostbite and hypothermia, seek medical care immediately.
    • Signs of Hypothermia: Dangerously low body temperature. Uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness, and apparent exhaustion.
      What to Do: If symptoms of hypothermia are detected take the person’s temperature. If it is below 95°, seek medical attention immediately. Get the victim to a warm location. Remove wet clothing. Warm the center of the body first by wrapping the person in blankets or putting on dry clothing. Give warm, non-alcoholic beverages if the victim is conscious.
    • Signs of Frostbite: Occurs when the skin and body tissue just beneath it freezes. Loss of feeling and white or pale appearance in extremities, such as fingers, toes, earlobes, face, and the tip of the nose.
      What to Do: Cover exposed skin, but do not rub the affected area in an attempt to warm it up.

After the storm:

  • Shelters if you have a power loss. If your home loses power or heat for more than a few hours or if you do not have adequate supplies to stay warm in your home overnight, you may want to go to a designated public shelter if you can get there safely. To find the nearest shelter in your area, Text SHELTER+ your ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA) (e.g., SHELTER20472). Bring any personal items that you would need to spend the night (such as toiletries, medicines). Take precautions when traveling to the shelter. Dress warmly in layers, wear boots, mittens, and a hat.