National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

When the snow and ice melt, it's tempting to relieve that cabin fever and hit the roads. But melting snow can cause floods, partially cleared roads may be icy or blocked, creeks and rivers often overflow from the rush of melting snow and ice. Heavy snow may have knocked down power lines and caused gas leaks, both of which can be deadly, but are not obvious at first glance. Follow the tips below to stay safe and check the other links on this site for actions to take beforeduring and after a winter storm.

+Stay Informed

+Avoid Flooded Roads and Heed Road Danger Signs

  • Standing water hides many dangers including toxins and chemicals. There may be debris under the water and the road surface may have completely collapsed beneath the water.
  • If it is likely your home will flood, don't wait to be ordered to leave; evacuate when you know you are danger! Make alternative plans for a place to stay with a relative or friend. If you have pets, take them with you or make arrangements to board them at a facility well away from the flooding danger. Many hotels will take pets but check for options during dry weather.
  • Road closure, cones, sawhorses and other cautionary signs are put in place for your safety. Pay attention to them!

+Check Your Home, Contact Family and Isolated Neighbors

  • Carbon monoxide poisoning is one of the leading causes of death after storms when areas dealing with power outages.
  • Never use a portable generator inside your home or garage. Review generator safety
  • Let your family and close friends know that you’re okay so they can help spread the word. Register with American Red Cross’s Safe and Well listings. You can use this resource to search missing friends and relatives as well.

+Roadway Hazards After a Winter Storm

  • Black ice is patchy ice on roadways that cannot easily be seen. Even if roadways have been cleared of snow following a storm, any water left on the roadways may freeze, resulting in a clear sheet of ice, also known as black ice. It is most dangerous in the early morning due to below freezing nighttime temperatures.
  • Potholes are a common road hazard following winter precipitation and can be difficult to see and can cause serious damage to your vehicle. Be sure to report potholes to your county or local Department of Transportation.