WINTER WEATHER PREPAREDNESS
To prepare for severe winter weather, stay tuned for storm watches and warnings issued by the National Weather Service. Know the terms used by the NWS, which can be seen on NEMA's "Learning About Winter Weather" page.
The following winter readiness information has been broken down into three segments:
In addtion, please read our information on Frostbite & Hypothermia.
Winter Readiness for Individuals & Families
Before the watches and warnings are issued, prepare a winter storm plan that will enable you and your family to survive for up to 72 hours without any outside assistance...
Assemble A Disaster Supplies Kit For Your Home Containing:
Develop an emergency communications plan. In case family members are separated from one another during a winter storm ( a real possibility during the day when adults are at work and children are at school), have a plan for getting back together.
Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the "family contact." After a disaster, it's often easier to call long distance. Make sure all family members know the name, address and phone number of the contact person.
Make sure all family members know how to respond after a severe winter storm. Teach children how and when to call 9-1-1, police or fire department and which radio station to tune to for emergency information.
If You Must Be Outdoors During Winter Weather Conditions:
NEMA urges everyone to purchase a NOAA weather radio. Program the device to your county and get the latest information from the National Weather Service--the same information that Emergency Managers receive!
Winter Readiness for Your Home
A major winter storm can be leathal. Preparing your home for cold weather conditions and responding to them effectively can reduce the dangers caused by winter storms.
During A Winter Weather Event:
Winter Readiness for Your Automobile
If you plan to travel during the winter, the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the National Weather Service recommend you stay abreast of local weather reports. When the forecasters are predicting threatening weather, the best bet is to seek shelter and wait out the storm.
The Nebraska Department of Roads provides up to the minute road conditions at http://www.dor.state.ne.us/rca/index.htm. Knowing the road conditions can mean the difference between arriving on-time or not arriving at all.
Those who travel even during the worst of times are advised to carry a winter storm supply kit in their vehicle. Assemble a separate disaster supplies kit for the trunk of each car used by members of your family that includes:
Another item that might make the difference is a cell phone. If you are stranded in your car during a blizzard, make a call and wait for help to arrive. Do not try to walk to safety.
Avoid Traveling By Car In A Winter Storm, But If You Must Travel....
If Your Vehicle Becomes Stuck...
SURVIVAL TIPS: Frostbite & Hypothermia
Frostbite is a severe reaction to cold exposure than can permanently damage its victims. A loss of feeling and a white or pale appearance in fingers, toes or nose and ear lobes are symptoms of frosbite.
Hypothermia is a condition brought on when the body temperature drops to less than 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Symptoms of hypothermia include uncontrollable shivering, slow speech, memory lapses, frequent stumbling, drowsiness and exhaustion.
If frostbite or hypothermia are suspected, begin warming the person slowly and seek immediate medical assistance. Warm the person's trunk first. Use your own body heat to help. Arms and legs should be warmed last because stimulation of the limbs can drive cold blood toward the heart and lead to heart failure. Put person in dry clothing and wrap their entire body in a blanket.
Never give a frostbite or hypothermia victim something with caffeine or alcohol.