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Blizzard Icon
What if…
Blizzards
Understanding
Blizzards

What is a blizzard:  A blizzard is a strong bitterly cold wind (35 MPH or more), accompanied by a widespread heavy snowfall.  Cold air is needed for snow to occur.  The temperatures need to be below freezing and near the ground level in order for a blizzard to take place.

Location: where Blizzards commonly occur are the Midwest States, Northern Bordering States with Canada and parts of Colorado and Utah.

Duration: Blizzards will last several hours to several days.

Caveat: Dangers to be aware of with Blizzards will include, hypothermia, frostbite, Disorientation, Freezing water pipes, Carbon Monoxide from alternate cooking / heating/ electricity sources.

5 Steps to Survive
Blizzards
  1. Make sure that all fuel-burning equipment should be vented outside and keep clear of enclosed areas.
  2. Keep indoor water running at a trickle to prevent pipes from freezing
  3. Winterize your vehicle and always keep a full take of gas to prevent fuel lines from freezing. Carry a bag of sand or non-clumping kitty litter in the back of your vehicle to assist if the vehicle should get stuck or break down. Always carry a 72 hour bag in your vehicle to provide protection during breakdowns or disaster related emergencies.
  4. Dress in several layers of clothing, Choose a wicking layer for clothing closest to skin. Always wear a hat while outdoors or in case the heater quits. 90% of your body heat escapes from your head. Always keep open skin covered if you have to travel outside for any reason.
  5. Listen to NOAA Weather Radio for your local news channel for information from the National Weather Service (NWS).
Blizzard
Checklist
  • Water- at least 1 gallon per person per day (3 days worth)
  • Food- At least 3 day supply of non-perishable, easy to prepare, mobile stove for cooking food.
  • First Aid Kit
  • Multi-purpose tool, Gas/Water shut off key
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Personal Hygiene and sanitation items
  • Battery powered, hand-cranked radio with NOAA channel
  • Warm coats, gloves, hats, boots, extra blankets, socks and scarves for all members of household
  • 7 day supply of medications and Cash
  • Family and emergency contact information (laminate)
  • Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier , bowl)
  • Stored Sand, rock, salt or non-clumping kitty litter to make walkways, steps, driveways safe for traffic.
  • Alternative heating methods such as wood or coal burning stoves.
After a Blizzard Strikes
  • Check on your animals and make sure that their access to food, water and shelter is not blocked by snow, debris, or fallen ice chunks. Animals, if possible, should always be brought indoors during Blizzard of winter storms to ensure their safety.
  • Stay indoors if possible. Wear warm layered clothing to protect against freezing conditions and prevent hypothermia and frostbite from happening.
  • Avoid driving after a storm. More accidents occur from losing control of your vehicle in icy, snowy conditions than during the storm.
  • If your home has lost power or heat during the storm, bring your family to a designated public shelter.
  • Always locate a generator, grill, propane or natural gas item away from doors, vents, windows to prevent any toxic fumes from entering your home or shelter.
  • Do not over exert yourself in shoveling excessive amounts of snow along your travel paths (driveways, sidewalks, streets etc). Shoveling should be done in small chunks to avoid heart attacks, excessive sweating and, frostbite and hypothermia (when the sweat begins to cool).