Severe winter storms can cause widespread damage and disruption. Heavy snow often results in paralyzed transportation systems, automobile accidents due to slippery roads and stranded vehicles. Glazing from ice storms can topple utility lines and poles, and make travel virtually impossible. These conditions can be a threat to life. Nearly 80 people in the United States die from winter storms and extreme cold every year, which is more than the fatalities due to tornadoes!
The hazards posed by winter storms and extreme cold can be catastrophic. However, you can take actions now that will increase your chances of surviving winter storms and extreme cold. The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) has developed this document with tips on staying safe and warm during the winter months.
The Illinois Department of Public Health offers this free guide to help people stay safe and healthy during the winter. The guide addresses cold weather preparations including safety tips for using furnaces, fireplaces and space heaters; fire safety; weather terms and understanding wind chill; preparing for sever weather; maintaining your water supply; winterizing your vehicle; and safe winter driving. There is also health information about colds, influenza, hypothermia and frostbite.
The guide includes safety information about winter sports such as sledding, ice skating, skiing and snowmobiling. Holiday safety information about holiday cooking, toy safety, Christmas tree safety and drinking and driving and alcohol consumption is also included.
You may also obtain a free copy by contacting the Illinois Department of Public Health: