Posted by: Kelley Dees | November 11, 2010

Winter Weather Safety

The snow has started to fall here in Wyoming, with many areas seeing close to a foot of snow already for this week. This has us here at Wyoming AgrAbility thinking about winter weather safety and we’d like to share a few thoughts and tips with you to keep you safe and healthy this winter!

How to be prepared on the farm or if you have pets/animals to care for:

  • Move animals to sheltered areas. They can go into hypothermia just like humans, so shelter is very important.
  • Shelter belts (properly laid out and oriented) are better protection for cattle than confining shelters, such as sheds.
  • Haul extra feed to nearby feeding areas.
  • Have water readily available. Most animals that die in winter storms die from dehydration.
  • Be sure to have plenty of food, water, a nd shelter on hand before the storm begins!

How to be prepared in your car: Keep your gas tank near full to avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines. Avoid traveling long distances alone. Let someone know your timetable and primary/alternate routes so they know where to search for you in the event of a disappearance. Be sure to carry a Winter Storm Survival Kit that includes the following items:

  • Mobile phone and charger
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Blankets or sleeping bags
  • First-aid kit
  • Knife
  • High-calorie, non-perishable food
  • Extra clothing to keep dry and gloves for shoveling snow from around vehicle
  • Large empty can to use as an emergency to ilet
  • Tissues and paper towels for sanitary purposes
  • Instant hand sanitizer
  • Small can and waterproof matches to melt sn ow for drinking water
  • Shovel
  • Sack of sand or cat litter for tra ction
  • Windshield scraper and brush
  • Tool kit
  • Tow rope
  • Battery booster cables
  • Water container
  • Compass and road maps

How to be prepared at home: Keep the following items on hand:

  • Flashlight and extra batte ries
  • Battery-powered NOAA Weather Radio. This may be your only link to the outside.
  • Extra food and water. Have high-energy food and food requiring no cooking or refrigeration.
  • Extra medicine. If you have medication that you must take regularly and there is a winter storm forecasted, your pharmacist will likely be able to dispense enough extra for you to make it through the storm or to give you an emergency supply to have on hand at all times.
  • Extra baby items
  • First-aid supplies
  • Heating fuel
  • Emergency heat source that you can use in the event you lose power
  • Fire extinguisher and smoke alarm

In all situations, be sure to dress for the season. Wear loose, lightweight, warm clothes in layers. This is because trapped air insulates. Remove layers to avoid perspiration and subsequent chill. Outer garments should be lightly woven, water repellent, and hooded. Wear a hat or toboggan because half your body heat loss can be from the head. Cover your mouth to protect your lungs from extreme cold. Mittens, snug at the wrist, are better than gloves. Most importantly, no matter the situation, is to try and stay dry. Choose fabrics that wick moisture away from the body, thus keeping you dry.

We hope these tips help you and keep you safe this winter season!

Thank you to NOAA’s Office of Climate, Water, and Weather Services for some of these tips!


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