Winter Weather Extremes at Home

Listen to the radio or television for weather reports and emergency information. Dress for the season.

  1. Stay indoors as much as possible.
  2. Conserve fuel if necessary by keeping your house cooler than normal. Temporarily “close off” heat to some rooms.
  3. Hang blankets over windows at night (let the sun shine in during the day). Stuff cracks around doors with rugs, newspapers, towels or other such material.
  4. When using alternative heat from a fireplace, wood stove, space heater, etc., use safeguards and ensure proper ventilation.
  5. Refuel kerosene heaters outside and keep them at least three feet away from flammable objects.
  6. If you have no heat, close off unneeded rooms and place towels or rags under the doors. Cover windows at night.
  7. Eat to supply heat and drink non-alcoholic beverages to avoid dehydration.

If your water pipes freeze:

  • Shut off water at the main source. This can minimize the damage to your home.
  • Call a plumber and contact your insurance agent.
  • Never try to thaw a frozen pipe with an open flame or torch.
  • Always be careful of the potential for electric shock in and around standing water.


  • Avoid overexertion, such as shoveling heavy snow, pushing a car or walking in deep snow. The strain from the cold and the hard labor could cause a heart attack at any age – a major cause of death in the winter. Sweating can lead to a chill and even hypothermia.
  • Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia.

If you become stranded:

  • Seek shelter to stay dry.
  • Cover all exposed parts of the body.
  • If no shelter is nearby, prepare a lean-to, windbreak or snow cave for protection from the wind. Build a fire for heat and to attract attention.
  • Do not eat snow as it will lower your body temperature. Melt it first.

On The Farm

  • Move animals to sheltered areas.
  • Haul extra feed to nearby feeding areas.
  • Have a water supply available. Most animal deaths in winter storms occur from dehydration.