It is important to make a plan so your family is ready for severe winter weather. How will you receive emergency alerts and warnings? Do you have everything you need in case you are snowed in for a couple of days? What if you get snowed in at work? What if the power goes out? What if you become stranded while driving? There is lots to think about, but there is no need to worry. Here are some tips to get you started.
Have an emergency kit
A disaster supplies kit is simply a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency. Make sure you have a kit for
- Home: Gather everything you would need for at least three days. Make sure to consider each individuals needs such as medication, formula and diapers for babies, and pets
- Evacuations: If the power goes out for an extended period during cold weather, you may need to leave your and go to a warming shelter or other location
- Vehicle: Make sure you have everything you need if you become stranded away from home
To learn more visit csready.org https://coloradosprings.gov/buildakit
Have multiple ways to get information
Download the FEMA app. This app allows you to receive real-time alerts from the National Weather Service for up to five locations (counties). You’ll also find emergency safety tips, shelter information, disaster recovery centers, online disaster assistance, and FEMA’s disaster reporter.
- Learn more about how to stay informed during an emergency
Winterize your home and vehicle
Know how to keep pipes from bursting and how to shut off water valves in case they do. Make sure carbon monoxide detectors are working and have battery backups. Have safe, emergency heating options.
Make sure your vehicles emergency kit is in an accessible place. If you become stranded, it might be difficult to get to supplies in your trunk. Fill up your gas tank and make sure you have plenty of antifreeze and windshield washer fluid.
- Learn more about how to winterize homes and vehicles
Be ready for power outages
Make sure your emergency kit (https://coloradosprings.gov/buildakit) is stocked. Do not forget to include medications, an alternate power source to charge cell phones and medical devices, and activities for the kids that do not require a power source.
Generators, camp stoves, or charcoal grills should always be used outdoors and at least 20 feet away from windows. Never use a gas stovetop or oven to heat your home. Turn off or disconnect appliances, equipment, or electronics. Power may return with momentary “surges” or “spikes” that can cause damage.
- Learn more about preparing for power outages
Be a good neighbor
Check on your neighbors. Older adults and young children are especially vulnerable to extreme temperatures. Help out neighbors who can’t shovel driveways or sidewalks.
Be ready when you are on the road
Know what to do if you become stranded. If you can, move your vehicle to the side of the road. Stay with your vehicle. This will make it easier for rescuers to find you. You can hang a distress flag from your window or antenna. Minimize engine running time to just a few minutes each half-hour, just long enough to take the chill off. To avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, periodically clear snow from the exhaust pipe.
- Learn more about winter driving safety