Source: NOAA National Weather Service
Severe winter storms can have a tremendous impact on individuals, animals, and communities. Cold temperatures, snow, ice, blizzard conditions with high winds and dangerous wind chills can all occur, leading to personal injury and possibly deaths. High winds combined with cold temperatures speeds the rate of heat loss to the body making serious health problems, such as frostbite or hypothermia more likely. Additional fatalities may occur from vehicle accidents, fires or carbon monoxide poisoning following the misuse of heaters. Dangerous driving conditions can lead to travelers being stranded on the road. Accumulations of snow and ice can result in road closures or blockages – isolating homes and farms for days. The heavy weight burden may cause roofs to collapse or knock down trees and power lines resulting in power outages and subsequent loss of heat in homes. Animals are also at risk during severe winter weather and are subject to wind chill factors, hypothermia and frostbite. Deaths can also occur due to dehydration, when water sources freeze and become unavailable. Winter conditions may make getting food and water to animals more difficult. Unprotected livestock may be lost. Businesses must also make preparations for winter storm situations. Protection of their employees will be necessary to ensure their safety. Employees that must work outdoors during extreme situations should be provided the necessary education on risk and measures to stay safe.
The following resources will help you prepare your family, home and farm, animals and business for winter storm situations.
Winter Storm Preparedness Factsheets
• Winter Storms and Your Family (pdf, 2 pg)
• More Family Resources
• Winter Storms and Your Home
(pdf, 1 pg)
• More Home Resources
• Winter Storms and Your Pet (pdf, 1 pg)
• Winter Storms and Your Livestock (pdf, 1 pg)
• More Pet and Livestock Resources
• Winter Storms and Your Farm (pdf, 1 pg)
• More Farm Resources
• Winter Storms and Your Business (pdf, 1 pg)
• More Business Resources
Website discussing dangers of winter weather to human health.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Website discussing personal, home, and farm safety issues in the event of severe snow or ice.
Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN)
Website of resources for reducing illness and injury during severe winter conditions.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Website with information on what to do before, during and after a winter storm as well as information on possible flooding.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
Website discussing the dangers of winter storms.
National Weather Service and American Red Cross