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Winter Storms/Extreme Cold

Winter Storm

Winter storms can range from a normal snow over a few hours to a blizzard with blinding, wind-driven snow that lasts for several days. Many winter storms bring dangerously low temperatures and, sometimes, strong winds, icing, sleet, and freezing rain. One of the main concerns is that winter weather can knock out heat, power, and communication, sometimes for days at a time. Heavy snowfall and extreme cold can have serious effects on an entire region. Icy roadways can cause serious accidents, and sometimes people die from being in really cold temperatures for too long.

Visit the FEMA library to download more facts about Winter Storms & Extreme Cold


  • Build an emergency kit.
  • Make a family communications plan.
  • Help your parents sprinkle sand on sidewalks and  walkways. This helps to make them less slippery.
  • Make sure you dress warmly and have extra blankets!
  • Bring pets inside.


  • Stay inside! Sidewalks can be very slippery and you can hurt yourself if you fall.
  • If you are outside helping to shovel snow, make sure you wear a hat. It helps keep you from losing body heat.
  • Mittens are warmer than gloves.
  • Cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs from the cold air.
  • Put on dry clothes as soon as you come inside.
  • If you can’t feel your fingers, toes, ears or nose, or they appear pale white, tell a grown-up.
  • Tell a grown-up immediately if you can’t stop shivering, have trouble remembering things, feel tired or talk funny. You may have hypothermia which can be very dangerous.


  • Continue to wear layers, a hat, scarf, and mittens or gloves. These will help to keep you warm and protect you from frostbite.


Almost everyone in the United States can be affected by winter storms and extreme cold.

Words to Know!


A medical condition when skin or body tissue is damaged from freezing. It’s most common in parts of the body farthest from your heart that are exposed, such as fingers, toes, ears and nose.


A sickness when your body temperature drops below what is needed to be healthy and work properly. It is the opposite of heat stroke.

Freezing Rain

Rain that freezes when it hits the ground, creating a layer of ice on roads, walkways, trees, and power lines


Rain that turns to ice before reaching the ground