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Winter Storms

Emergency Management

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Be Prepared

Winter Weather Bulletins issued by the National Weather Service:

Winter Storm Watch

A major snow and/or ice storm is   developing and may arrive within 24 to 48 hours.

Winter Weather Advisory

A light to moderate mix of rain,   snow, sleet and/or freezing rain can be expected soon or is occurring now.

Winter Storm Warning

At least 6 inches of snow over a   12 hour period &/or significant amounts of freezing rain and gusty winds   can be expected soon or is occurring now.

Ice Storm Warning

1/4 inch or more of ice   accumulation on exposed surfaces is expected soon or is occurring now.

Blizzard Warning

Snow with sustained winds of 35   miles per hour causing visibility frequently below 1/4 mile can be expected   soon or is occurring now.

Freezing Rain: Rain that freezes when it hits the ground. It leaves ice on the roadways.
Sleet: Rain that turns to ice pellets before it hits the ground.
Winter Storm Watch: A winter storm is possible in your area.
Winter Storm Warning: A winter storm is occurring or will occur soon in your area.
Blizzard Warning: Considerable amounts of falling or blowing snow, with winds up to 35 miles per hour cause low visibility. 


  • Winterize your car:
    • Refill antifreeze
    • Check and repair windshield wiper equipment
    • Check lights and hazard lights
    • Check tires for wear, consider snow tires
    • Keep fuel tank at least half full
  • Gather and have supplies easily accessible to keep warm in case of power outage, including blankets, hand warmers and warm clothing.
  • Have a heat alternative and fuel supply in case of power outage. 

Winter Storm-Specific Items to Add to Preparedness Kit

  • Warm clothing (e.g., hats, mittens, scarves, wool socks, etc.)
  • Ice Scraper/Shovel for your car
  • Salt or sand to melt ice 

Be Safe:


  • Severe winter storms are usually preceded by strong winds and snow. 


  • Avoid overexertion when shoveling snow; this could cause heart attack or other health complications.
  • Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia. See Extreme Cold
  • Maintain ventilation when using kerosene heaters to avoid toxic fumes.  Keep away from flammable objects.
  • Drive only if it is necessary: 
    • Travel during the day.
    • Update a family member or friend of destination and travel timeframe.
    • Stay on main roads.
    • Remember to take it slow on ice and snow. 
  • Avoid walking under heavily iced tree branches or buildings. 


  • Check and restock emergency supply kit. 

More Information/Additional Resources:  http://www.ready.gov/winter-weather


The Importance of Wind Chill:

During the winter months, it's not only the actual temperature that we worry about, but the wind chill temperature as well. The Wind Chill is based on the rate of heat loss from exposed skin caused by the combined effects of wind and cold. It is how cold the air feels to our skin. As the wind increases, heat is carried away from the body at an accelerated rate. The following is a chart that graphically correlates the properties of Air Temperature and Wind Speed.


Current Weather

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