National Consumers League


NCL Health Issues

Do you have a winter weather emergency plan?

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Is your family prepared for winter emergencies?As digits are dropping to record lows across the country, winter weather can mean significant and sudden drops in temperatures and very serious winter storms. It is important to be prepared so that you can stay safe and healthy during the winter months.

Infants and elderly are among the most vulnerable to life-threatening health problems when the temperatures drop.

Dangers can include power failures and icy or snowy roads. Space heaters and fireplaces add to the danger, as they increase the risk of household fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.

Everyone should be prepared for winter. Even if you live in a warmer climate, sudden drops in temperature that are near freezing are considered extreme cold and can be harmful to your health.

Be prepared: make a plan

  • Determine a meeting place outside of your neighborhood for instances when roads might be closed and prevent you or family members from returning home
  • Choose an out-of-town friend or relative to be the point of contact for emergency communications
  • Write down your emergency plan and keep it in a safe, visible place – or download a worksheet

Build an emergency kit

You can assemble your own or purchase a ready-made kit. An emergency (winter) kit should include:

  • Basic supplies
    • Food supplies for three days (per person)
    • Water for three days (1 gallon per day per person)
    • Batter powered (and extra batteries) or hand-crank radio
    • Copy of the family emergency plan
    • Addition supplies
      • First aid kit
      • Medications (if needed)
      • Blankets and warm clothing
      • Special items for particular family members and/or pets

Stay informed

  • Listen to local media for information from emergency officials BEFORE, DURING, and AFTER winter weather emergencies
  • Know the conditions of the roads
  • Keep aware of the weather – know about watches and warnings affecting your area

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