Every winter carries the threat of a blizzard, major ice storm, extreme cold, extreme flooding and even tornadoes.
The National Weather Service says it is always important to be prepared. The Indiana Department of Homeland Security and the Red Cross says the best way to stay safe from winter weather is to have a disaster plan and emergency preparedness kit ready.
When putting together an emergency preparedness kit, the organizations say the primary concerns are loss of heat and power and lack of supplies. The NWS suggests having extra food and water that does not require cooking or refrigeration and an emergency heat source. The organizations say people should have a professional check all heating sources for correct operation and ventilation and follow all manufacturers operating instructions.
On the farm, move your animals to sheltered areas, haul extra feed to feeding areas and have water available and keep it from freezing. The organizations say most animal deaths in winter are from dehydration.
In vehicles, items to carry should include bottled water, blankets or extra clothing. A first aid kit, a flashlight, non-clumping litter sand or gravel to create traction if your vehicle gets stuck. A small shovel, booster cables and candy bars are good kit items as well. The organizations say people may wish to carry paper products for sanitary purposes, water proof matches, a metal can and candle for heat and light.
People should heed weather forecasts and take action when the national weather service issues a watch, warning or advisory.