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The most important thing to do is listen for weather reports and emergency information on radio or television newscasts or NOAA Radio. These emergency broadcasts will tell you what you need to do to prepare for the upcoming weather.

  • When working outside or traveling, dress for the weather. Wear several layers of loose-fitting, light-weight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing. 
  • Outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent. Remember that mittens are warmer than gloves. Wear a hat as most body heat is lost through the top of the head. 
  • Cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs from the cold air. Be careful when shoveling snow. Overexertion can bring on a heart attack, a major cause of death in the winter. 
  • Watch for signs of frostbite, typically a loss of feeling and a white or pale appearance in extremities such as fingers, toes, ear lobes, or the tip of the nose. 
  • Watch for signs of hypothermia, which is characterized by uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness, and apparent exhaustion. 
  • If symptoms of either are detected, get medical help immediately. 
  • When at home, conserve fuel by keeping your house cooler than normal. Temporarily close off heat to some rooms. 
  • In the event that regular fuel sources are cut off, keep at least one room of your house warm enough to be livable with a wood or gas fireplace or wood burning stove. 
  • Alternate heat sources may be used but only if they are designed for interior use. 
  • Using a gas stove or oven for heat is a bad idea. Carbon Monoxide can reach dangerous levels. Camp stoves are not intended for interior use for the same reason and it is not safe to rely on these appliances for comfort heating.