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Ice Storms and Winter Weather
Winter weather can bring power outages and dangerous, icy roads. Carbon monoxide poisoning and household fires due to the improper use of heating and cooking appliances occur more often during these times.

During a winter storm you may need to shelter in place. This means that you remain where you are during an emergency. Many times, especially during a winter storm, you will want to stay where you are until further instructions. Your local emergency planners will have a list of where shelters in your area in the event that you need to evacuate. The local town clerk, city council or Office of Public Safety can help you find the appropriate plans for your jurisdiction.

Subscribe to alert services. Many communities now have email messaging and text alerts that are automated and send out information about road closings, bad weather and other local emergencies. Many schools have this automated service to alert parents that school is closed.

How to prepare to shelter-in-place?

·     Develop your own emergency family plans. Practice with all of your family so that they will be familiar with the plans or any additions and changes that will be made. The plan is a living document that should be updated when information changes. For example, your contact person may get a new cell phone with a new number.

·     Assemble a disaster kit with water and food. Check it regularly to be sure nothing is outdated or has been used and not replaced.

·     Find out what the warning system in your area.

·     Contact schools and workplaces to find out what their plans are.

When should I shelter-in-place?

Contact your local emergency planning committee or Public Safety Department and ask what system would be used in your area to warn you and your family.

·        Reverse 911 may be used to send recorded messages through an automated system

·        NOAA Weather radio alerts

·        Sirens or horns

·        News from radio or television

·        Emergency Alert System that broadcasts through your radio or television

How do I shelter-in-place?

·      Act quickly and follow instructions of the local authorities.

·      Bring pets and children inside

·     Close and lock all windows and doors

·     Find your disaster supply kit

·     Listen to your television or radio for further updates until emergency is over and follow any other instructions that are given by emergency authorities.

Response Kit

You can buy a response kit or make your own with items you already have around the house. Keep in plastic bin, back pack, duffle bag or any other easy to carry water proof container. It will be important to be able to grab it in case you need to evacuate.


Water is the most important item to have in case of any emergency. Each person should have one gallon of water per day for at least three days.


You should store at least a three day supply of non-perishable food that requires on refrigeration, preparation or cooking.

·        Eating utensils

·        Canned Juice
·        Crackers

·        Nuts

·        Dried fruit

·        Peanut butter

·        Dry cereal

·        Canned meat, fruits and vegetables

·        Food for infants

First Aid Kit

You should keep one in your car and a kit in your home



Gauze pads

Adhesive tape

Ace bandage

Non latex gloves



Sting and bite ointment

Instant cold pack


·        Whistle to call for help

·        NOAA weather radio (battery or hand crank)

·        Can opener

·        Cell phone with charger

·        Flashlight (battery or hand crank)

·        Local maps

·        Dust mask

·        Wrench to be able to turn off utilities

·        Fire extinguisher

·        Cash or traveler’s checks

·        Pet food and water

If you need to evacuate to a Shelter

Special items

Passports, bank information, insurance papers, social security number, insulin, special foods and medicine for diabetics, extra pair of glasses. Keep important papers in a water proof container or air tight plastic bag.

Items for Children

Books, crayons, games

Formula and diapers


For more information:

Each state is listed with information about how to contact your local emergency planners. This site will show you the name, address and phone numbers as well as common weather risks in each state.

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