A winter storm occurs when there is significant precipitation and the temperature is low enough that precipitation forms as sleet or snow, or when rain turns to ice. A winter storm can range from freezing rain and ice, to moderate snowfall over a few hours, to a blizzard that lasts for several days. Many winter storms are accompanied by dangerously low temperatures.
Winter storms can cause power outages that last for days. They can make roads and walkways extremely dangerous or impassable and close or limit critical community services such as public transportation, child care, health programs and schools. Injuries and deaths may occur from exposure, dangerous road conditions, and carbon monoxide poisoning and other conditions.
Winter storms and colder than normal temperatures can happen in every region of the country.
Winter storms can occur from early autumn to late spring depending on the region.
Before Snowstorms and Extreme Cold
Prepare your home:
Prepare your vehicle:
Basic Preparedness Tips:
During Snowstorms and Extreme Cold
After Snowstorms and Extreme Cold
Winter Weather Watches and Warnings.....
Familiarize yourself with these terms to help identify an extreme winter weather alerts:
Freezing Rain - Rain that freezes when it hits the ground, creating a coating of ice on roads, walkways, trees and power lines.
Sleet - Rain that turns to ice pellets before reaching the ground. Sleet also causes moisture on roads to freeze and become slippery.
Wind Chill- Windchill is the temperature it “feels like” when you are outside. The NWS provides a Windchill Chart to show the difference between air temperature and the perceived temperature and the amount of time until frostbite occurs. For more information, visit the NOAA Website HERE.
Winter Weather Advisory - Winter weather conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences and may be hazardous. When caution is used, these situations should not be life threatening. The NWS issues a winter weather advisory when conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences that may be hazardous. If caution is used, these situations should not be life-threatening.
Winter Storm Watch - A winter storm is possible in your area. Tune in to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for more information. The NWS issues a winter storm watch when severe winter conditions, such as heavy snow and/or ice, may affect your area but the location and timing are still uncertain. A winter storm watch is issued 12 to 36 hours in advance of a potential severe storm. Tune in to NOAA Weather Radio, local radio, TV, or other news sources for more information. Monitor alerts, check your emergency supplies, and gather any items you may need if you lose power.
Winter Storm Warning - A winter storm is occurring or will soon occur in your area.
Blizzard Warning - Sustained winds or frequent gusts to 35 miles per hour or greater and considerable amounts of falling or blowing snow (reducing visibility to less than a quarter mile) are expected to prevail for a period of three hours or longer.
Frost/Freeze Warning - Below freezing temperatures are expected.
Winter, for many is a joyful time of year with holidays and family time. Winter also can bring variations on extreme weather from below zero temperatures to blizzards to nor'easters. Knowing how to Be Ready can be the difference that keeps you and your family safe.
Thanks to our friends at Ready.gov, this information explains what actions you can take to prepare for winter weather and how to understand alerts from the National Weather Service.
Communication and Information is key......
Keep a list of contact information for reference. Contacts should include:
BASIC PROTECTIVE MEASURES FOR ALL HAZARDS
Some basic protective actions are similar across many different hazards:
Learn what protective measures to take before, during, and after an emergency
MYTH: I DON’T NEED TO WORRY ABOUT DISASTERS WHERE I LIVE.
Emergency preparedness is not only for those that live in more disaster prone area like California, the Midwest or the Gulf Coast.
Most communities may be impacted by several types of hazards during a lifetime.
Americans are also traveling more than ever before to areas that may have a higher risk of disaster than at home. Knowing what to do before, during and after an emergency is a critical part of being prepared and may make all the difference when seconds count.
Information provided as part of Be Ready. Montclair can help you to learn about potential emergencies that can happen and how to prepare for and respond to them.
Launched in May 2014, Be Ready. Montclair is a local public service campaign designed to educate residents and business owners in the Montclair area on how to prepare for and respond to emergencies including natural and man-made disasters.
The goal of the campaign is to get the public involved and ultimately to increase the level of basic preparedness in our area.
It is the overall goal of Montclair Ambulance Unit to offer preparedness planning and assistance to every aspect of our community to help reduce the possibility of catastrophic loss as a result of natural or man-made disasters.
This site will include seasonal preparedness information such as dealing with cold weather emergencies during the winter months and heat related emergencies during the summer. There will also be important links to local, state and federal agencies for further information on how to prepare for emergencies.