Protect Yourself from Snowstorms and Extreme Cold


Extreme winter weather can move in fast, sometimes bringing sub-freezing temperatures, snow, sleet, ice, and high winds.

If you find yourself under a winter storm warning, it’s very important to protect yourself from personal injury risks, such as car accidents, hypothermia, carbon monoxide poisoning, and more.


How to prepare for a winter storm

  1. Create an emergency plan and share it with your entire family.
  2. Check your emergency supplies before the winter season begins.
  3. Weatherproof your home to provide additional protection in case of a power outage.
  4. If you buy a backup generator, understand how to use it safely.
  5. Have a professional inspect your chimney annually, especially if you use a wood-burning fireplace or woodstove.
  6. Install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors on all floors. Regularly check and replace the batteries, as needed.
  7. Keep an easy to read thermometer inside (not just outside). Older adults are more susceptible to health problems caused by cold.
  8. Be prepared to safely travel by vehicle during the winter.
How to be ready for winter weather

How to stay safe during a winter storm

  1. Stay home or find shelter right away if your region is under a winter storm warning or advisory.
  2. Stay off the roads if possible.
  3. Remain in your vehicle if you are ever stuck on the road.
  4. Wear layers of warm clothing and limit your time outside.
  5. Watch for signs of hypothermia and frostbite.
  6. Avoid overexertion. Heart attacks while shoveling snow are a leading cause of death during the winter. People with heart conditions should seek help with snow removal.

Want to learn more ways to stay safe during and after a winter storm? Visit, the CDC and the Red Cross for additional resources.