Snowstorm Preparedness

Snow is beautiful, but it can cause huge problems! Even a small amount of snow can throw an unprepared city into disarray. Make your home a safe haven. Being prepared can lower your family’s risk of injury, death, or loss of property if a blizzard comes to town.

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Winter Storm Facts

All you need for a snowstorm is heavy snow. For a blizzard, you’ll need snow with sustained wind speeds of at least 35 miles an hour.

In 2021, Texas got 8 inches of snow. The power grid became overloaded, causing widespread power outages. That relatively small storm resulted in 246 deaths.

NWS releases four types of warnings based on when a snowstorm will arrive:

  • Winter Storm Outlook: Up to five days away.
  • Winter Storm Watch: More than 24 hours away.
  • Winter Storm Warning or Blizzard Warning: Actively occurring or occurring within 24 hours.

Blizzards are way more common now than they were in the 1960s, and scientists aren’t sure if they’ll keep becoming more frequent or not. 

How to Prepare for a Snowstorm

  • Create a snowstorm preparedness kit or purchase a prepackaged kit. Either way, make sure to maintain it.
  • Prep your vehicle’s emergency kit in case you get caught while on the road or have an emergency that requires travel.
  • Make sure your pipes are well-insulated; frozen pipes mean no running water.
  • Trim dead or weak limbs from trees, and ask the city to trim any limb that overhangs a power line.
  • Keep salt and sand for your walkways and driveway on hand.
  • Charge your devices and powerbanks in case you lose power.
  • Fill a clean bathtub with water. If your pipes freeze, you’ll need that extra water.
  • If your heat fails, turn all of your faucets to a trickle to help keep your pipes from freezing.
  • Make sure you have non-digital entertainment options. Power outages during snowstorms can last days.
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What Not to Do During a Snowstorm

Here are some winter storm tips for you, if you’re better with “DON’Ts” than “DOs”

Don’t Burn Down the House

If your power goes out and you use candles, never leave them unattended, and make sure they’re well clear of flammable materials.

Don’t Use Your Oven for Heat

Leaving your oven open while it’s on can release carbon monoxide into your home. It’s not worth the risk.

Don’t Use a Generator Inside

If your generator uses any type of fossil fuel, don’t run it indoors or in your garage. It needs full ventilation, or it could kill you.