Winter storms may bring hazardous driving conditions and downed trees and power lines. The Red Cross offers these suggestions to help you be prepared and stay safe in the event of a winter emergency.
Always stay home when severe weather is expected.
1. Dress warmly in layers
2. Listen to the radio or television to get the latest information and know the terms
· Wind Chill – “Wind chill” is a calculation of how cold it feels outside when the effects of temperature and wind speed are combined. A strong wind combined with a temperature of just below freezing can have the same effect as a still air temperature about 35 degrees colder.
· Winter Storm Watches and Warnings
– “winter storm watch” — Be alert, a storm is likely
– “winter storm warning” — Take action, the storm is in or entering the area
– “blizzard warning” — Snow and strong winds combined will produce blinding snow, near zero visibility, deep drifts, and life-threatening wind chill—seek refuge immediately!
– “winter weather advisory” — Winter weather conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences and may be hazardous, especially to motorists
– “frost/freeze warning” — Below freezing temperatures are expected and may cause damage to plants, crops, or fruit trees
3. Assemble essential supplies
· Flashlight and batteries
· Portable, battery-powered radio
· At least one gallon of water per person and a small supply of nonperishable food
· Red Cross First Aid kit
If you need to be on the roads, please prepare before you drive.
1. Winterize your vehicle and keep the gas tank full; a full tank will keep the fuel line from freezing.
2. Allow extra time when traveling. Monitor weather conditions carefully and adhere to travel advisories.
3. Keep a Red Cross First Aid kit and a winter storm survival kit in your car. At minimum, a storm kit should include:
– A battery-powered radio and extra batteries
– Flashlight and extra batteries
– Blankets or sleeping bags
– Jumper cables
– Bottled water and non-perishable snacks
– Compass and road map
For more information about winter safety, please visit www.redcrossillinois.org/winter-safety