National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce
Press Release from
the National Weather Service
Baltimore-Washington Forecast Office

... Preparedness at home ...


Heavy snowfall and ice can isolate you in your home, sometimes for long periods of time. Your primary concerns are the potential loss of heat, power, phone, and a shortage of supplies if the storm conditions continue for more than a day. Here are some tips to help out at home during severe winter weather.



  • Have an emergency supply of water and non-perishable food. Include foods that require no cooking unless you have a camp stove.
  • Keep an adequate supply of fuel in your home. Regular supplies may be limited by storm conditions or fuel suppliers may be unable to reach you for several days. Use fuel sparingly.
  • Have a flashlight with extra batteries. Have a battery powered radio or television to get important updates and emergency information on the storm.
  • Have an emergency heat source such as a fireplace or woodstove. Learn to properly use and ventilate to prevent a fire.
  • Have a fire extinguisher and know how to use it. Make sure your smoke detectors are operating by testing them regularly.
  • Have a first aid kit plus extras of any needed medicines, prescriptions, or baby items.


IF CAUGHT AT HOME IN A WINTER STORM .....................

  • Stay inside where it is warm and dry.
  • If there is no heat...
    • close off unneeded rooms.
    • stuff towels, rags or extra clothes in cracks under doors.
    • cover windows at night to reduce heat loss.
  • Eat and drink to stay warm. Food provides the body with energy for producing its own heat. Keep replenished with fluids to prevent dehydration. Alcohol drinks, however, will lower the body temperature and may increase the likelihood of dehydration.
  • Wear layers of loose-fitting, light-weight, warm clothing. Remove layers as needed to avoid overheating, perspiration and subsequent chill.
  • Exercise to stay warm. Exercising from time to time by vigorously moving arms, legs, figures and toes will keep the blood circulating and help keep you warm.