Preparedness - Blizzard

Stay in the Car

A vehicle is easier to find than you!

Avoid Driving in Severe Winter Storms

If you are caught in a storm and your car becomes immobilized, stay in the vehicle and await rescue. Do not attempt to walk from the car unless you can see a definite safe haven at a reasonable distance. Disorientation during blizzard conditions comes rapidly and being lost in the snow is exceedingly dangerous. 


  • Turn on the vehicle engine for about 10 minutes per hour to provide heat, but always leave a down-wind window open slightly to avoid deadly carbon monoxide poisoning. Make sure the exhaust pipe is clear of snow. 
  • Exercise occasionally by clapping hands and moving around. Do not remain in one position for long, but avoid over exerting yourself and/or exposure from shoveling or pushing the car. 
  • Tie a bright-colored cloth high on the vehicle. Leave the dome light on at night as a signal for rescuers. 
  • If more than one person is in the car, sleep in shifts.

Car Emergency Kit

  • Blanket or Sleeping Bag
  • Booster Cables and Tools
  • Bottled Water
  • Canned Fruits and Nuts
  • Can Opener
  • Extra Clothes
  • First Aid Kit
  • Matches, Candles and Flashlight
  • Necessary Medication
  • Rain Gear
  • Shovel
  • Traction Mats or Chains

Dress to Fit the Season

  • Wear loose-fitting, light-weight warm clothing in several layers as trapped air insulates. Layers can be removed to avoid perspiration and subsequent chill. 
  • Outer garments should be tightly woven, water repellent and hooded. 
  • Wear a hat. Half your body heat loss occurs from the head. 
  • Cover your mouth to protect your lungs from extreme cold. 
  • Mittens worn snug at the wrist are better than gloves.
  • Try to stay dry.

Blizzard Warning

Issued when a winter storm has sustained winds or frequent gusts of 35 miles per hour or higher and considerable falling or blowing snow reduces visibility to less than 1/4 mile. Expected to last for at least 3 hours.