Severe Winter Weather

Know the Terms

  • Winter Storm Watch: A winter storm is possible in your area. Tune in to your NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio or television for more information.
  • Winter Storm Warning: A winter storm is occurring or will soon occur in your area.
  • Freezing Rain: Rain that freezes when it hits the ground, creating a coating of ice on roads, walkways, trees and power lines.
  • Sleet: Rain that turns to ice pellets before reaching the ground. Sleet also causes moisture on roads to freeze and become slippery.
  • Frost/Freeze Warning: Below freezing temperatures are expected.
  1. Before
  2. During
  3. After

Before a Winter Storm

  • Add winter supplies like rock salt to melt ice and shovels to your disaster supply kit.
  • Prepare for possible isolation in your home by having sufficient heating fuel; regular fuel sources may be cut off.
  • Insulate pipes with insulation or newspapers and plastic and allow faucets to drip a little during cold weather to avoid freezing.
  • Learn how to shut off water valves in case a pipe bursts.
  • Have your vehicle serviced to ensure it is prepared for the winter season.
  • Place a winter emergency kit in every vehicle that includes: 
    • Battery-powered radio
    • Blankets
    • Booster cables
    • Emergency flares
    • Extra batteries
    • Extra hats
    • First aid kit with a pocket knife
    • Flashlight
    • Fluorescent distress flag
    • Matches
    • Necessary medications
    • Road salt and sand
    • A shovel
    • Snack food
    • Socks and mitten
    • Tow chain or rope
    • Water
    • Windshield scraper and small broom