Need mental health help fast? Call **ASK from your cell phone or call 1-800-939-5911. close

How to prepare for a winter storm

Cardinal Innovations Healthcare — December 8, 2018 — 3 min read

Plan ahead

Your home and vehicle:
  • Make sure your home's heat is working properly before the storm starts.
  • Bring animals indoors for shelter before the winter storm. 
  • Make sure your home is properly /Cinsulated and windows are shut tightly. 
  • Fill up your vehicle’s gas tank. 

Medical needs: if you take medication or use medical supplies on a daily basis, make sure you have the supplies you need for up to seven days.
  • Refill prescriptions for any medications you may need during or after the storm.
  • Make sure medical devices and supplies are working properly.
  • Have extra batteries and supplies to last up to seven days.

What you might need: Make sure you have warm clothes for all members of the family: coats, pants, gloves, hats, socks, and boots in case the heat goes out. 
  • Salt or sand: put on for your driveway and walkways before and during the storm to protect against ice, especially in shaded areas.
  • Shovel: for clearing snow or ice off the driveway, walkways, and stairs.
  • Warm clothes and a safe backup heating option: in case you lose power during freezing temperatures.
  • Pets: if you have pets, make sure you have enough food and supplies. 
 
Emergency supplies: Have emergency supplies to last for seven days. This will help if you lose power
or can’t leave your home.
  • 1 gallon of water per person per day, non-perishable food, and pet supplies
  • medications, medical equipment, medical supplies, and a first aid kit
  • flashlights, battery powered weather radio, and extra batteries
  • a whistle to signal for help if trapped
  • cash and photo identification

When the winter storm begins

  • Avoid driving. The roads will most likely be dangerous. Even after the snow stops, it might freeze to ice. 
  • If you go outside during the storm or even after the snow or rain stops, look out for ice and slippery roads, walkways, and stairs. 
  • Check on eldery and disabled family, friends, and neighbors. Make sure they are safe and help with clearing snow or ice after the storm, if you are able to.

Stay informed

  • Wireless Emergency Alerts may be sent to your mobile phone, make sure your phone has Wireless Emergency Alerts enabled in your settings.
  • Watch or listen to the news on local radio and TV news stations. A NOAA weather radio and a storm weather app on your phone can also help.
  • Follow the ReadyNC updates on their websitemobile appTwitter, and Facebook page.
  • Find updates on your local town and county’s website and social media accounts (we have a list of contacts by county on our website and a printable list).
  • Receive updates from your local town or county's alert system using phone, text, and/or email messaging.

Helpful resources

  • Be Prepared to Stay Safe and Healthy in Winter: Winter storms and cold temperatures can be dangerous. Stay safe and healthy with these tips from the CDC.
  • Steps to be prepared: is a printable document with the information above to prepare for an emergency, evacuation information, how to stay informed.
  • North Carolina emergency contacts and resources: is a printable list of state and local resource emergency contact information.
  • Shelters: visit the NC Department of Public Safety website for a list of shelters near you. You can also call 2-1-1 or download the ReadyNC app to see local shelter capacities.
  • Staying Independent during Disasters: a printable checklist with steps. 
  • Show me booklet: a communication tool for emergency shelters. This booklet helps with communication for people who have cognitive disabilities, are deaf or hard of hearing, have limited understanding of English, and anyone who may have difficulty communicating verbally.
  • What to take to a shelter: is a printable checklist of things to consider packing when evacuating your home. 
  • ReadyNC: has emergency preparedness information and resources to plan, prepare, and stay informed!

---------
Updated on February 20, 2020​ to include current and updated information. 
Was this article helpful?

Join our member newsletter

Subscribe