Check batteries in carbon monoxide and smoke alarms.
Check that your fire extinguisher is full.
Know how to shut off water valves so that you can take action if a pipe bursts.
Cover sidewalks with sand, rock salt or non-clumping cat litter.
Gather supplies, including batteries, blankets, flashlights and a first-aid kit. The Red Cross suggests additional supplies.
During the Storm
Listen for weather updates.
Eat regularly to give your body energy to produce heat.
Stay hydrated. Avoid caffeine and alcohol. (Caffeine accelerates the symptoms of hypothermia, and alcohol slows circulation; both cause dehydration.)
Lower the temperature inside your home, and close off the furnace registers to unoccupied rooms (and then close their doors) to conserve heat.
Allow a slow drip from hot and cold faucets to relieve pressure that may build up inside pipes and cause them to burst.
Use flashlights instead of candles if you're without electricity.
Do not use a generator inside your home or close to your home's exterior.
Plug space heaters directly into wall sockets and unplug them when they're not in use. Keep space heaters 3 feet away from flammable materials. Be sure to properly ventilate alternative heaters to avoid fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.
Periodically clear snow from around exhaust pipes or vents outside your home.
After the storm
Check on neighbors, friends and loved ones to make sure they are ok.
Move to a public shelter if you're without power or heat. Avoid travel until roads are clear. If you must go out, use public transportation. The Red Cross reports around 70 percent of deaths related to ice and snow occur in automobiles.
Wear proper clothinga hat, gloves and warm layers of loose, lightweight clothingwhen clearing sidewalks and driveways.
If you can, avoid being on the road during the storm. However, if that is not possible, use extreme caution:
Bridges and overpasses freeze first. Slow down and avoid sudden changes in speed or direction.
Keep windows clear of snow and ice.
Use brakes cautiously. Sudden braking can lock-up brakes and cause you to lose steering control.
If you get stuck in snow, straighten the wheels and accelerate slowly. Avoid spinning the tires. Use sand or kitty litter under the drive wheels.
If a winter storm strands you with your vehicle, stay calm and follow these tips:
Pull off the highway (if possible), turn on your hazard lights and hang a distress flag from an antenna or window.
If you have a phone, call 911 and describe your location as precisely as possible. Follow any instructions from the dispatcher.
Remain in your vehicle so help can find you.
Run your vehicle's engine and heater about 10 minutes each hour to keep warm. Open a downwind window slightly for ventilation and clear snow from the exhaust pipe to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
Exercise a little to maintain body heat, but avoid overexertion and sweating.
Drink fluids to avoid dehydration.
Don't waste your vehicle's battery power. Balance electrical energy needs lights, heat and radio with supply.
At night, turn on an inside light when you run the engine so help can see you.
If your home or car is damaged from the winter storm, contact your State Farm® Agent.
State Farm Public Affairs
Office: (202) 263-4404
Cell: (202) 674-9374
About State Farm®
State Farm and its affiliates are the largest provider of car insurance in the U.S. and is a leading insurer in Canada. In addition to providing auto insurance quotes, their 17,800 agents and more than 65,000 employees serve 81 million policies and accounts - more than 79 million auto, home, life and health policies in the United States and Canada, and nearly 2 million bank accounts. Commercial auto insurance, along with coverage for renters, business owners, boats and motorcycles, is also available. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 43 on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit http://www.statefarm.com or in Canada http://www.statefarm.ca.