When huge winter storms are wrapping their snowy, icy arms around the US winter storm warnings get sent out. Winter storm warnings mean more than just colder temperatures. They mean dangerous conditions you need to prep for. Here's what you need to know to stay warm and safe.
How to Weather Winter Storm Warnings
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A winter storm warning. Image: SafeWise
A winter storm warning means that there will be significant ice, snow, blowing snow, sleet, or a combination of these.1 That adds up to poor driving conditions in many areas of the country (we're looking at you southern states).
Just stay home. And if you have to drive stick to well-traveled city streets to avoid ice patches on highways and bridges.
For more, check out our best winter driving tips.
Make sure your carbon monoxide detectors are working
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If you use anything other than electric or solar to keep your home warm, make sure your carbon monoxide detector is working properly. Wood, natural gas, propane, and other heating fuels can create this deadly, colorless, odorless gas. You need a reliable warning system if carbon monoxide is present in your home.
Learn more in our carbon monoxide guide.
Heating your home can be a challenge as the temperatures dip. Here are some ways to stay warm:
- Use one room as your "warming station."
- Have pets, family members, and roommates stay in this room (with the doors closed) as much as possible. The body heat will keep the room toastier.
- Hang quilts or blankets over windows and open doorways to insulate your warming station.
- Make your ceiling fans rotate counter clock-wise to push warm air down from the ceiling to your level. There's a switch that changes the fan's direction just below the blades.
Don't use your stove or oven as heating
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While you can take advantage of cold weather to up your baking game and supplement the warmth in your house, don't use your stove or oven as a heating source. Leaving your stove or oven on can increase your chances of fire, accidental burns, and CO poisoning.
Give your space heaters space
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Be sure to keep at least three feet of space clear around your space heaters to prevent fires.
Check out our other space heater safety tips.
Space heater tips video
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Related articles on SafeWise
- National Weather Service, "Winter Weather Warnings, Watches, and Advisories." Accessed November 17, 2022.
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