When it comes to winter weather, it’s best to be proactive. Regardless of what the weather predictions are, never underestimate or dismiss winter weather advisories, warnings, or watches. Take it seriously!
By having all of the supplies and items you need ahead of time, you’ll be ready no matter what the weather has in store.
OUTSIDE OF YOUR HOME
Can you and other visitors get in and out of your home safely? The following are key items to keep on hand in the event of snow, ice, or freezing rain on walkways, driveways, patios, and landings:
- Snow shovel
- Waterproof floor mats
- De-icing compound
- Salt or kitty litter
INSIDE OF YOUR HOME
Always be sure to have enough food and emergency supplies to last three to four days without power or help. Be sure to also keep an emergency kit.
Food & Related Supplies
- Nonperishable food items (ex: canned meat, cereal, bread, peanut butter, etc.)
- Water (at least 1 gallon/person/day)
- Manual can opener
- Disposable plates, cups, eating utensils, napkins
- Pet food and additional water for pets
- First aid kit
- Family/emergency contact information (written down)
- Prescription medications/medical supplies (at least enough for 3-4 days)
- Battery powered-radio
- Cell phone (fully charged) + Cell phone charger
- Cold weather clothing + extra blankets
ON THE ROAD
One of the most dangerous places to be during a winter storm is on the roadways. If you have to drive during hazardous winter conditions, or if you find yourself caught outside during a winter storm event, know that road conditions can change in an instant. Don’t wait for winter to roll around to prepare yourself.
Winterize Your Vehicle!
- Check your antifreeze
- Keep up with regular oil changes
- Check tires and spare tire(s) for proper inflation and tire tread
- Keep your gas tank full (to avoid freezing water in the fuel line)
- Make sure your vehicle’s battery is in good working condition
Keep the following in your vehicle at all times:
- First aid kit
- Cell phone charger
- Bottled water
- Flashlight + batteries
- Flares (or other reflective material in case of a break down)
- Jumper cables
- Ice scraper
During the winter, you may also want to store a small bag of sand or kitty litter in your trunk. The extra weight can provide better traction, and the contents can be use to prevent your tires from slipping.
Your Emergency Kit
You should ALWAYS keep a first aid kit in your home and in your vehicle. The size and shape of your emergency kit may vary, but at the minimum, it should include:
- 2 absorbent compress dressings (5 x 9 inches)
- 25 adhesive bandages (assorted sizes)
- 1 adhesive cloth tape (10 yards x 1 inch)
- 5 antibiotic ointment packets (approximately 1 gram)
- 5 antiseptic wipe packets
- 2 packets of aspirin (81 mg each)
- 1 blanket (space blanket)
- 1 breathing barrier (with one-way valve)
- 1 instant cold compress
- 2 pair of non-latex gloves (size: large)
- 2 hydrocortisone ointment packets (approximately 1 gram each)
- 1 roller bandage (3 inches wide)
- 1 roller bandage (4 inches wide)
- 5 sterile gauze pads (3 x 3 inches)
- 5 sterile gauze pads (4 x 4 inches)
- Oral thermometer (non-mercury/nonglass)
- 2 triangular bandages
- First aid instruction booklet
If you are traveling by vehicle during the winter, it may be helpful to keep a small backpack with emergency items/supplies in case you have to abandon your vehicle.
Stay Updated on Closings/Delays & Emergency Information
Are you a WakeMed employee? Stay up-to-date with the latest inclement weather and emergency information here.
Planning on visiting one of the WakeMed facilities? Check the latest closings and delays here.
Other Helpful Resources
- 12 Things to Have Stocked in Your Pantry During Blizzard Season | The Weather Channel
- Winter Storm Safety Checklist | American Red Cross
- Winter Weather | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Winter Weather Warnings, Watches and Advisories | National Weather Service
- Winter Storm Preparedness | American Red Cross