How to Prepare

Did you know?


There are a few steps that you can undertake to make sure you are ready for extreme weather conditions. We've made a small checklist of things you can do to make sure you are prepared in the event of an emergency.

  • Review Before an Emergency for general information on how to prepare.
  • Build or restock your Emergency Preparedness Kit. In addition, make sure to add the following supplies to your kit:
    • Salt or use environmentally safe products to melt ice on walkways
    • Sand to improve traction
    • Snow shovels and other snow removal equipment
    • Sufficient heating fuel in case you are cut off from regular fuel sources. Ensure an adequate supply of dry wood for your fireplace or wood burning stove
    • Adequate clothing and blankets for warmth
  • Bring pets inside during winter weather. Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas with non-frozen drinking water.
  • Check the following items in your car:
    • Antifreeze
    • Battery and ignition system
    • Brakes
    • Exhaust system
    • Fuel and air filters
    • Heater and defroster
    • Lights and hazard lights
    • Oil
    • Thermostat
    • Windshield wiper equipment
    • Install good winter tires
  • Know the terms used to describe changing winter weather conditions.

During Extreme Snow or Cold Storms


  • Stay indoors during the storm
  • Walk carefully on snowy, icy walkways
  • Avoid overexertion when shoveling snow.
  • Keep dry.
  • Frostbite can occur when the skin and body tissue just beneath it freezes. Be on the lookout for signs of frostbite, such as loss of feeling and white or pale appearance in extremities (fingers, toes, ears, face, tip of the nose)
  • Hypothermia can occur when body temperature is dangerously low. Signs of hypothermia include uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness, and apparent exhaustion.
  • Drive only when it is absolutely necessary, and make sure to let someone know your destination, route, and expected arrival.

After the Storm


  • 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. Listen to the radio or follow social media to locate the closest shelter.
  • Bring any personal items that you would need to spend the night (such as toiletries and medicines). Take precautions when traveling to the shelter. Dress warmly in layers, wear boots, mittens, and a hat.
  • Continue to protect yourself from frostbite and hypothermia by wearing warm, loose-fitting, lightweight clothing in several layers. Stay indoors, if possible.