Although the calendar says winter in the Northern Hemisphere doesn’t actually start until Dec. 21, the weather forecast seems to communicate otherwise. The extreme weather in parts of the United States has even made headlines recently as “colder than mars,” according to figures from Nasa.
When extreme weather is headed your way, make sure you and your family are prepared for Old Man Winter’s worst. Ready.gov gives some helpful steps about what to do 1) before snowstorms and extreme cold 2) during snowstorms and extreme cold and 3) after snowstorms and extreme cold. When you receive a weather storm alert from the National Weather service, take heed of the following:
Be Prepared for Extreme Weather
Is your car ready for winter? As winter approaches, add the following supplies to your emergency kit and car:
- Rock salt to melt ice
- Snow shovels
- Emergency gear, like insulating blankets, crank flashlight, updated first-aid supplies
- Have your mechanic check antifreeze, heater and defroster and tires. For a complete list of items to check, visit https://www.ready.gov/winter-weather
Create a family plan
- Your family might be in different places when a storm or extreme weather hits, so know how you’ll contact one another if cell towers or internet isn’t working
- Remember pets: bring them inside during cold weather and you should have a plan for them, as well, and even make them their own emergency kit with extra food.
Know How to Weather the Storm
Try to stay indoors and off the roads, unless it’s necessary.
- If you do have to go out, stay on the main roads and never cross road closures or flooded roads! Let someone know when you’re leaving and expected arrival time. It’s a good idea to let them know your route, too, in case you get stuck and they need to send help.
If you’re stuck in a vehicle during a blizzard, pull off the road and turn on hazard lights.
- This is when your prepping will come in handy. You’ll likely be relying on the contents of your emergency kit to get you through until help arrives.
Most importantly, experts say you’ll want to learn from every storm. Keep your emergency supplies up to date and stocked in your house and in the car. For ready-made emergency kits stocked with our lifesaving tools and devices, visit our prepareme kits page.