Severe Winter Weather Checklists


Prepare for extremely cold weather every winter—it’s always a possibility. There are steps you can take in advance for greater wintertime safety in your home. Although periods of extreme cold cannot always be predicted far in advance, weather forecasts can sometimes provide you with several days’ notice. Listen to weather forecasts regularly and check your emergency supplies whenever a period of extreme cold is predicted.


Insulate walls and attic.
Caulk and weather-strip doors and windows.
Install storm windows or cover windows with plastic from the inside.
Insulate any water lines that run along outer walls. This will make water less likely to freeze.
Service snow-removal equipment.
Have chimney and flue inspected.
Install easy-to-read outdoor thermometer.
Repair roof leaks and cut away tree branches that could fall on your home or other structure during a storm.

Cell phone
Portable charger, and extra batteries

Extra blankets
Sleeping bags
Winter coats
Fireplace with plenty of dry firewood or a gas log fireplace
Portable space heaters or kerosene heaters

Chemical fire extinguisher
Smoke alarm in working order (Check prior to winter storm season and change batteries, if needed.)
Carbon monoxide detector (Check prior to winter storm season and change batteries, if needed.)
First-aid kit
Rock-salt to melt ice on walkways
Supply of cat litter or bag of sand to add traction on walkways

Battery-powered flashlights or lanterns
Glow Sticks

Drinking water

  • Leave all water taps slightly open so they drip continuously.
  • Keep the indoor temperature warm.
  • Allow more heated air near pipes. Open kitchen cabinet doors under the kitchen sink.
  • If your pipes do freeze, do not thaw them with a torch. Thaw the pipes slowly with warm air from an electric hair dryer.
  • If you cannot thaw your pipes, or if the pipes have broken open, use bottled water or get water from a neighbor’s home.
  • Fill the bathtub or have bottled water on hand.
  • In an emergency, if no other water is available, snow can be melted for water. Bringing water to a rolling boil for one minute will kill most germs but won’t get rid of chemicals sometimes found in snow

Canned/no-cook food (bread, crackers, dried fruits)
Non-electric can opener
Baby food and formula (if baby in the household)
Prescription drugs and other medicine

Car and Emergency Checklist
Minimize travel, but if travel is necessary, keep the following in your vehicle:

  • Cell phone, portable charger, and extra batteries
  • Shovel
  • Windshield scraper
  • Battery-powered radio with extra batteries
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Water
  • Snack food
  • Extra hats, coats, and mittens
  • Blankets
  • Chains or rope
  • Tire chains
  • Canned compressed air with sealant for emergency tire repair
  • Road salt and sand
  • Booster cables
  • Emergency flares
  • Bright colored flag or help signs
  • First aid kit
  • Tool kit
  • Road maps
  • Compass
  • Waterproof matches and a can to melt snow for water
  • Paper towels



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.