Winter Safety & Preparedness Tips

winter safety and preparedness tips

The cold weather is upon us once again. It’s a good idea at this time of year to remind ourselves of some key safety & preparedness tips in the event of storms and overall cold weather.

First, what do the different weather warnings mean? Here are the differences between an outlook, advisory, watch and warning:

  • Winter Storm Outlook: Winter storm conditions are possible in the next 2 to 5 days.
  • Winter Weather Advisory: Winter weather conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences and may be hazardous. When caution is used, these situations should not be life threatening.
  • Winter Storm Watch: Winter storm conditions are possible within the next 36 to 48 hours. People in a watch area should review their winter storm plans and stay informed about weather conditions.
  • Winter Storm Warning: Life-threatening, severe winter conditions have begun or will begin within 24 hours. People in a warning area should take precautions immediately.

Here in New England there are some basic rules to live by in the winter season. it’s always a good refresher at this time of year, while we’re still longing for sandy beaches and warm summer sun.

  1. Prepare your vehicle: It’s always a good idea to keep the gas tank more than half full, as this will keep the fuel line from freezing. Check your tires and make sure you have a blanket and ice scraper in the car.
  2. Prepare your home: Be sure to have your chimneys, boilers, furnaces and other heating equipment cleaned and inspected by professionals every year. Schedule your appointments before the winter hits to avoid delays in availability.
  3. Traveling? If you’ll be away during cold weather, be sure to leave the heat on in your home and set it to a temperature of no lower than 55ºF.
  4. Stock up on supplies: Always have candles and a flashlight on hand, as well as extra batteries. Also be ready to take care of your walkways and driveways by stocking up on sand, rock salt, or kitty litter.
  5. Be safe: Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area. All devices should be away from doors, windows and vents to prevent carbon monoxide from coming indoors.

Helpful Resources

Emergency & Local Police
Dial 911

American Red Cross
1-877-RED-CROSS (1-877-733-2767)

Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection

Connecticut Radio and Television Stations are a timely source of information in an emergency.
Click here for a list of local Connecticut radio stations.