Safety Tips to Survive a Blizzard (Part II)

Use alternative heat sources.
  • Walk cautiously on icy, snowy sidewalks
  • Drive only if necessary. If you must drive in the day, don’t drive alone. Keep others abreast of your schedule. Stay on main roads and don’t take back roads or shortcuts.
  • Reserve fuel, if necessary, by keeping your home cooler than normal. Briefly shut off heat to less-used rooms.
  • When using alternative heat from a wood stove, fireplace, or space heater, use fire safeguards and accurately ventilate.
  • If using kerosene heaters, sustain ventilation to halt the buildup of toxic fumes. Keep heaters around three feet from flammable objects. Refuel kerosene heaters outside.

If You Must Travel by Car in A Storm:

  • Keep emergency supplies in the trunk. This includes a flashlight with extra batteries, blankets/sleeping bags, extra set of dry clothing and boots, shovel, tire chains, jumper cables, sand, high-calorie non-perishable food, windshield scraper, first aid kit, road maps, compass, and a brightly colored cloth to tie to the antenna.
  • Keep your vehicle’s gas tank full for emergency use and to keep the fuel line from freezing.
  • Tell someone your destination, your route, and when you expect to arrive.

If You Do Get Stuck:

  • Stay in your car. Don’t attempt to walk to safety.
  • Tie a brightly colored cloth (possibly red) to the antenna for rescuers to see.
  • Lift the hood signaling trouble after snow stops falling.
  • Start the car and use the heater for around 15 minutes every hour. Keep the exhaust pipe clear so fumes don’t back up into the car.
  • Leave the overhead light on when the engine is going so that you can be seen.
  • As you sit, keep moving your legs, arms, fingers, and toes to keep blood circulating and to stay warm.
  • Keep one window away from the blowing wind marginally open to let in the fresh air.


Safety Tips to Survive a Blizzard (Part I)

If you find yourself in a winter storm keep a flashlight close by in case the power goes out.

Winter storms and blizzards can create a loss of heat, electricity, and telephone service and can have you in your home for a couple of days. Have ready:

  • Flashlights and extra batteries
  • Make sure every household member has a hat, a warm coat, gloves or mittens, and water-resistant boots
  • Extra blankets
  • Battery-powered portable radio 
  • First aid kit
  • Healing fuel – fuel carriers might not get to you for a couple of days after a bad winter storm
  • Back up heating source (space heater, fireplace, wood stove)
  • Snow shovels and other snow removal equipment
  • Sand to enhance traction
  • Canned food and nonelectric can opener
  • Bottled water
  • Extra medicine and baby items
  • Bring pets/companion animals inside during the winter. Move animals to sheltered areas with plenty of clean water.
  • Create a family communication plan. Your family might not be together when the storm hits, so it is vital to know how you will contact each other and how you will get back together.

During the Winter Storm:

  • Remain indoors
  • If you have to go outside, many layers of clothing will keep you warmer than a heavy coat. Mittens or gloves and a hat will stop the loss of body heat. Cover your mouth to safeguard your lungs.
  • Keep dry. Remove wet clothing often to stop body heat from escaping.
  • look for signs of frostbite. This includes loss of feeling and pale or white appearance in extremities like toes, fingers, ear lobes, and the tip of the nose. If symptoms are spotted get medical help ASAP.
  • Look for signs of hypothermia. This includes uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, drowsiness, slurred speech, and apparent exhaustion. If symptoms are perceived, get the victim to a warm area, remove wet clothing, warm the center of the body first and give non-alcoholic, warm beverages if the victim is conscious. Get medical help as quickly as possible.