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  • Writer's pictureInstitute Staff

How to Prepare for Winter Weather

Updated: Nov 4, 2020

Winter is a special time of the year! It’s a joyous season filled with families coming together to celebrate the holidays. But, winter also produces storms and hazardous icy conditions.

The National Weather Service refers to winter storms as deceptive killers "because most deaths are indirectly related to the storm.” The majority of accidents happen in traffic, icy roadways, and from hypothermia.

winter weather, safety, emergency, winter safety, emergency preparedness

The Perils of Unpreparedness During A Winter Storm

In January 2013, an unexpected ice storm hit Atlanta, GA. Icy roadways led to road closures across the state. More than 2,000 children became stranded in schools overnight. This caused a statewide panic among parents, children, and caregivers. This event marked the importance of having emergency preparedness plans in place. Caregivers and parents need to be aware of a school’s evacuation plans when winter weather hits.

Plan For Winter Weather: Preparedness Starts at Home

When emergency plans aren’t in place, fear sets in. That’s why families need to prepare early on for inclement weather.

Families can prepare in advance for winter weather by:

  • Getting an alternative heat source. Winter storms can cause power outages. Get a generator and become familiar with it before a storm hits.

  • Insulate your home’s windows and pipes.

  • Buy a battery-powered radio for emergency broadcasts.

  • Pack a 72-hour emergency kit. Add non-perishable food and plenty of water. Pack extra batteries, medication, snow equipment, flashlights, coats, socks, hand/foot warmers, blankets, and extra clothing layers.

  • Have a snow emergency kit in your car: a small shovel, gravel/sand, and extra floor mats. Also, include a cell phone charger.

  • Make a family emergency plan. Know how you will contact one another and how you plan to get back together.

  • Plan your emergency driving route. Know which roads will be off-limits during a storm, and choose safer roadways. Always have at least 2 routes to pick up your child.

  • During the storm: watch for signs of frostb