Current Severe Weather Alerts And Warnings



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WINTER WEATHER PREPAREDNESS From the National Weather Service


Winter Weather Survival Kit For Travelers

Recommended Safety Items For All Motorists In Extreme Weather Situations

Winter Storm Survival Kit for Travelers
• Cell phone and charger
• Blankets/sleeping bags
• Flashlight with extra batteries
• First-aid kit
• Knife
• High calorie, non-perishable food
• Water
• Extra clothing to keep dry
• A large empty can and plastic cover with
tissues and paper towels for sanitary
• A smaller can and water-proof matches to melt
snow for drinking water
• Sack of sand (or cat litter)
• Shovel
• Windshield scraper and brush
• Tool kit
• Tow rope with loops (avoid chains and hooks if
at all possible)
• Booster cables
• Water container
• Compass and road maps

Winter Weather Terms
The National Weather Service uses the terms below
to convey the weather threat to the public.
Winter Storm Watch: Indicates severe winter
weather such as heavy snow or ice is possible
within the next day or two. Prepare now!
Winter Storm Warning: Indicates heavy snow
(greater than 6 inches), heavy sleet (½ inch or
greater), or a combination of winter weather
hazards are highly likely or occurring. Stay indoors
and adjust travel plans.
Ice Storm Warning: Heavy accumulations of ice
will create extremely dangerous travel conditions,
damage trees and likely cause extended power
Blizzard Warning: Strong winds of 35 mph or
greater will produce blinding snow, near zero
visibility, deep drifts and life-threatening conditions,
especially for travelers.
Wind Chill Warning: Life-threatening wind chills
of minus 25 degrees or colder.
Winter Weather Advisory: Indicates snow
accumulating 2 to 5 inches, or a combination of
winter weather conditions will cause signifi cant
inconveniences and may be hazardous, especially
to travelers. Use caution if you venture out!
Freezing Rain Advisory: Light accumulations of
ice will cause hazardous travel.
• Wind Chill Advisory: Dangerous wind chills of
minus 15 degrees to minus 24 degrees.
Freezing Rain: Precipitation that falls from the
cloud as rain, but freezes into a glaze of ice on
ground-based objects (trees, power lines, roads,
cars, etc.).
Sleet: Small pellets of ice created by frozen
raindrops. Sleet bounces when hitting a surface
and does not stick to objects.
Wind Chill: A calculation of how cold it feels outside
when the effects of temperature and wind speed
are combined. Wind chill ONLY applies to bare,
human skin. The effects of wind chill are different
for animals, and don’t apply to non-living objects.
Before a Winter Storm or
Extreme Cold
WEATHER TERMS: Know the terms related to winter
storms and extreme cold.
COUNTY NAMES: Know the names of the counties
in which you live, work and travel. County names are
used to identify areas at risk.
HEALTH PRECAUTIONS: Learn how to protect your
family's health during the winter months:
• Dress appropriately for the winter.
• Learn the physical dangers to your body.
DISASTER KITS: Gather emergency supplies for
work and home.
Create a Family Disaster Kit. Be prepared for at least
three days, if not more. For details, go to: http://ready.

Important Family Disaster kit items are listed below:
A battery-powered National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather
Radio and a battery-powered commercial radio and extra batteries.
• Foods that do not require cooking or refrigeration are best. Include high energy foods such
as dried fruit and granola bars.
• Extra medications and special items for babies, the disabled or elderly.
• Extra water in clean containers.
• Flashlights and extra batteries. Do not use candles.
• A fi rst-aid kit, non-prescription drugs and personal sanitary items.
• Pet supplies.

Heavy Snow
Heavy snow can immobilize a region and paralyze a city, stranding commuters, closing airports, stopping
the flow of supplies, and disrupting emergency and medical services. Accumulations of snow can cause roofs to collapse and knock down trees and power lines. Homes and farms may be isolated for days and unprotected livestock may be lost. In the mountains, heavy snow can lead to avalanches. The cost of snow removal, repairing damages, and the loss of business can have severe economic impacts on cities and towns. An avalanche is a mass of tumbling snow. More than 80 percent of midwinter avalanches are triggered by a rapid accumulation of snow, and 90 percent of those occur within 24 hours of snowfall. An avalanche may reach a mass of a million tons and travel at speeds up to 200 mph.
Injuries Due To Ice and Snow
• About 70% result from vehicle accidents
• About 25% occur in people caught out in a storm
• Most happen to males over 40 years old
BLIZZARD: Winds of 35 mph or more with snow and
blowing snow reducing visibility to less than
¼ mile for at least 3 hours.
BLOWING SNOW: Wind-driven snow that reduces visibility.
Blowing snow may be falling snow and/or
snow on the ground picked up by the wind.
SNOW SQUALLS: Brief, intense snow showers accompanied
by strong, gusty winds. Accumulation may
be significant.
SNOW SHOWERS: Snow falling at varying intensities for brief periods
of time. Some accumulation is possible.
SNOW FLURRIES: Light snow falling for short durations with little
or no accumulation.