Management - Winter Weather Survival
Winter Weather Survival
Winter Storms are common for this part of the United States. They can
bring hazards such as blinding snow, freezing rain and ice, dangerous
wind chills, power outages and travel disruptions. It's imperative that
you prepare accordingly for these hazards to endure the cold of winter
safely. The following recommendations may help you prepare for the winter
In your Home
Make an emergency kit for at least 3 days of self-sufficiency. Store
in a cool, dry place in or near your shelter area. Replace expired items
as necessary and update your home emergency kit annually.
- Water - One gallon of water per person per day for at least 3 days,
for drinking and sanitation
- Food - at least a 3 day supply of non-perishable food
- Manually operated can opener
- Radio - Battery powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio
with tone alert
- Flashlight - Extra batteries
- First Aid Kit
- Blankets and pillows
- A basic tool kit (hammer, pliers, screwdrivers, wrench, etc)
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for sanitation
- Cell phone with chargers and backup battery pack
- Essential Prescription Medication - At least a 3 day supply
- Non-prescription medication - pain relievers, antacids, etc
- Infant needs (if applicable) - diapers, wipes, bottles, formula, baby
food, rash cream, etc.
- Pet Needs - food, water, sanitary supplies to dispose of waste
- Complete change of clothing for each person and sturdy
- Fire extinguisher
- Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
- Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils
- Paper and pencil
- Books, games, puzzles or other activities
With the harsh winter climate in Iowa, it is likely that at some point
while traveling in your vehicle you may become stranded. There are other
times when you may experience other types of emergencies also.The following
list can help you prepare for such an event.
- Battery powered radio, flashlight and plenty of extra batteries.
- Blanket or Sleeping Bags
- Booster Cables
- Fire Extinguisher (5 pound, ABC type)
- First aid kit and manual
- Bottled water and non-perishable high energy foods such as granola
bars, raisins and peanut butter.
- Tire repair kit and pump
- Windshield scraper and small broom
- Extra hats, mittens, socks, etc.
- Matches and small candles
- Necessary medications
- Blankets and/or sleeping bags
- Tow chain/strap or rope
- Road salt, sand or cat litter for traction
- Flourescent distress flag and whistle to attract attention
- Cell phone adapter to plug into lighter
- Store items in the passenger compartment in case the trunk is jammed
or frozen shut.
- Choose small packages of food that you can eat hot or cold.
- If possible, call 911 on your cell phone. Provide your location, condition
of everyone in the vehicle and the problem you're experiencing.
- Follow instructions: you may be told to stay where you are until help
- Do not hang up until you know who you have spoken with and what will
- If you must leave the vehicle (for emergency purposes ONLY), write
down your name, address, phone number and destination. Place the piece
of paper inside the front windshield for someone to see.
- Prepare your vehicle: Make sure you keep your gas
tank at least half full.
- Be easy to find: Tell someone where you are going
and the route you will take.
- If stuck: Tie a florescent flag (from your kit) on
your antenna or hang it out the window. At night, keep your dome light
on. Rescue crews can see a small glow at a distance. To reduce battery
drain, use emergency flashers only if you hear approaching vehicles.
If you're with someone else, make sure at least one person is awake
and keeping watch for help at all times.
- Stay in your vehicle: Walking in a storm can be very
dangerous, even deadly. You might become lost or exhausted. Your vehicle
is a good shelter.
- Avoid Overexertion: Shoveling snow or pushing your
car takes a lot of effort in storm conditions. Don't risk a heart attack
or injury. That work can also make you hot and sweaty. Wet clothing
loses insulation value, making you susceptible to hypothermia.
- Fresh Air: It's better to be cold and awake than
comfortably warm and sleepy. Snow can plug your vehicle's exhaust system
and cause deadly carbon monoxide gas to enter your car. Only run the
engine for 10 minutes an hour and make sure the exhaust pipe is free
of snow. Keeping a window open a crack while running the engine is also
a good idea.
- Don't expect to be comfortable: You want to survive
until you're found.