Getting Your Family Ready for Winter

When winter hits, sometimes it hits hard! Listen to your local weather forecaster and read through the following tips to keep your family warm in winter weather.


Plan Ahead

  1. Have extra blankets on hand and make sure that each member of your household has:
    • warm coat
    • gloves
    • warm socks
    • mittens
    • hat
    • water-resistant boots

  2. Teach children how and when to call 911 for the police or fire department, and which radio station to tune to for emergency information.
  3. WHN TIP:

    Keep a list of radio stations by each radio and in each room.

  4. If children are not old enough to memorize the information, they should carry a small index card to give to an known adult or babysitter that lists the emergency information.

  5. Create an evacuation and safety plan for each family member (see Get Prepared section).
    • Test children's knowledge of the plan every six months so they remember what to do.

  6. Know the emergency response plan for your workplace, each child's school or daycare center, as well as other places where your family spends time.

  7. Make sure your family members know basic first aid and house skills.
    • Enroll yourself and/or family members in first aid, swimming and safety courses.
    • Family members should know how to turn off the house water, gas and electricity at the main valves or switches.
    • They should also know CPR, how to help someone who is choking, suffering from frostbite and first aid for severe bleeding and shock. The American Red Cross offers basic training of this nature.

How to Prevent Frostbite

    Exposure to cold without adequate protection can result in frostbite. Parents can protect their children by following these precautions:

  1. Dress children warmly. Several thin layers will help keep children dry as well as warm. Clothing should consist of:

    • Thermal long johns
    • Turtlenecks
    • One or two shirts
    • Pants
    • Sweater
    • Coat
    • Warm socks
    • Boots
    • Gloves or mittens
    • Hat
  2. Set reasonable time limits on outdoor play. Call children in periodically to warm up with drinks such as hot chocolate.
  3. When possible, avoid taking infants outdoors when it is colder than 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Infants lose body heat quickly.

  4. If you do suspect frostbite, contact a medical professional immediately for treatment.

Additional Information

  1. American Red Cross
    Click on ‘Disaster Services’, ‘Be Prepared,’ or ‘Health & Human Services’ to learn about natural events. The American Red Cross, a humanitarian organization led by volunteers, provides relief to victims of disasters and help people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies.

  2. FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) for Kids
    Offers educational information on winter storms for kids. The site also has fun games and stories. FEMA prepares the nation for hazards and manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident.