How to Prepare for Danger of Winter Storms

How to Prepare for Danger of Winter Storms

Winter can bring a variety of dangerous weather conditions — bitter cold, ice storms, and blizzards. The Preparing for Emergencies handbook developed by the Kane County Health Department and the Kane County Office of Emergency Management offers valuable information on how to take precautions now and throughout the winter to best protect yourself and your family from treacherous winter weather.

readyTake the time now to sign up for weather alerts from the National Weather Service so that you are aware of storm watches and warnings in your area.

Now is also the perfect time to make a Family Communications Plan. Since your family may not already be together when a storm or another disaster happens, it’s important to know how you will contact one another and what you will do in case of an emergency.

Winterize your Home and Yard

  • screen-shot-2016-10-31-at-3-17-48-pmTrim tree branches that could fall on a house or other structure during a storm.
  • Clear rain gutters to avoid ice build-up or roof damage.
  • Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected.
  • Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure everyone in your house knows how to use them—the risk of house fires increases as more people turn to alternate heating sources without taking necessary safety precautions.
  • Get ready for the cold weather by winterizing your house — replace damaged caulking and weather-stripping on doors and windows, install storm windows or cover windows with insulating plastic.
  • Insulate pipes, and learn how to shut off water valves in case a pipe bursts.

Winterize Your Vehicle

Winter car breakdown - woman try to repair motor

  • Take care of preventative maintenance on your vehicle BEFORE the winter weather arrives.
  • Make sure your tires have adequate tread. All-weather radials are usually adequate for most winter conditions, but you may choose to install good winter tires.
  • Whether you are traveling a significant distance during the winter weather or simply around town, you should keep a disaster supplies kit in your vehicle.
    • A shovel
    • Windshield scraper and small broom
    • Blanket(s)
    • Extra hats, socks and mittens
    • Flashlight w/ extra batteries
    • Water and snack food
    • Necessary medications
    • Matches
    • Battery powered radio w/ extra batteries
    • First aid kit with pocket knife
    • Road salt and sand
    • Tow chain or rope
    • Booster cables
    • Emergency flares
    • Fluorescent distress flag

Learn from Every Storm

After a winter storm, restock your emergency supplies to be ready in case another storm hits. Ask yourself and your family how you could improve your supplies and be better prepared.

About the Kane County Natural Hazards Mitigation Committee


The Kane County Natural Hazards Mitigation Committee is an advisory body of local government representatives from communities throughout the county. The committee meets twice per year to:

  • Act as a sounding board for hazard mitigation issues
  • Disseminate hazard mitigation ideas and activities to all participants
  • Monitor implementation of the Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan
  • Report on progress and recommended changes to the Kane County Board and each municipality

Other Resources