Winter Storms

Actions for Winter Storms

Before a Storm

Arrange for various methods of emergency heat supply in case of a power failure
➤ Prepare auto, mobile, battery-powered equipment, food, heating fuel and other supplies
➤ Prepare a car winter survival kit. Include the following items: blankets or sleeping bags, flares, high energy foods (candy, nuts, raisins), first aid kit, flashlights, extra clothing, knives, compass, candles and matches, maps, jumper cables, tow chain, shovel, windshield scraper, sack of sand or kitty litter, and paper and pen to leave a note in case you must leave your car
➤ Keep car fuel tank above half full

During and After the Storm

➤ At home, stay in your house, avoid travel and use disaster supply kits, if needed.
➤ Dress warmly. Wear multiple layers of protective, loose-fitting clothing, scarves, mittens, hats, hoods, and boots. Cover your mouth and nose to protect lungs from extremely cold air.
➤ Avoid overexertion. Heart attacks are a major cause of death during and after winter storms. Shoveling snow or freeing stuck vehicles can be extremely hard work. DO NOT overdo it.
➤ Beware of the chill factor if winds are present
➤ Be prepared for isolation at home. Make sure you can survive for a week or two in case a storm isolates you and makes it impossible for you to leave

If Trapped in Your Car

➤ Stay in your car for visibility and warmth. Do not try to walk out
➤ Use a candle for warmth. Run the motor for only 10 minutes each hour for heat with rear window open slightly for ventilation
➤ Make sure the exhaust pipe is not blocked
➤ Change positions frequently
➤ Stay alert. Do not let all occupants of the car sleep at once

About 70% of winter deaths related to snow and ice occur in automobiles. Travel by car in daylight, don’t travel alone, keep others notified of your schedule, and stay on main roads—avoid back roads and shortcuts

Wind Storms and Tornados

Before High Winds

➤ Survey your property. Take note of materials stored, placed or used which would become missiles and destroy other structures or be destroyed. Devise methods of securing these items where they will be accessible for day-to-day needs
➤ Keep tall trees properly pruned away from power lines
➤ Keep radio and/or TV on and monitor for wind advisories
➤ If possible, board up, tape, or shutter all windows, but leave some ventilation
➤ Store water in case water service is interrupted
➤ Have a supply of flashlights, spare batteries, candles, first aid equipment, medicines, etc. available for use
➤ Have plastic sheeting or large tarps available in case roof is damaged and it begins to rain

During High Winds

➤ Take shelter in hallways and closets, avoid windows. Go to the inner most part of the building away from windows
➤ If outside, take shelter from flying debris

After Winds Subside

➤ Inspect your home for structural and roof damage
➤ Check all utilities and power lines for damage and proper operation
➤ Monitor radio and TV for instructions from local authorities
Because of its varied terrain and climate, Utah can experience a variety of severe weather conditions. In a typical year, Utah can experience everything from blizzards to tornadoes. Winter snowstorms can knock out power and make for slick and icy driving conditions. Avalanches and lightning strikes have claimed the lives of many outdoor adventurers. Flash-flooding has caused damage to several areas of the state and has even caused death because of the swiftness and suddenness of the water. Utah has even seen a number of tornadoes, the most notable cutting a swath through the middle of downtown Salt Lake City. Dense fog has also enveloped parts of the state, leading to dangerous conditions on the ground and in the air. Windstorms have also caused extensive damage in parts of the state and especially here in Tooele County.