BOISE, Idaho (KLIX) The American Red Cross in Boise is offering some tips to be prepared for the next batch of cold winter weather in Idaho. Winter storms have swept across Idaho since the end of last year and more are expected to blanket the area with snow and cold temperatures creating potentially dangerous situations .

A little preparation can go a long way,” says Anna Fernandez-Gevaert, spokesperson for the American Red Cross of Idaho and Montana. “When severe winter weather is in the forecast, there is a lot people can do to keep themselves and their families safe, especially when headed outdoors.”

The American Red Cross has given the following tips on staying warm and safe the rest of the winter.

Severe Winter Weather Preparedness: 

  • Dress in several layers of lightweight clothing; wear waterproof, insulated boots to keep your feet warm and dry and to maintain your footing in ice and snow.
  • Minimize travel. If travel is necessary, keep a disaster supplies kit in your vehicle.
  • Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio or other local news channels for critical information from the National Weather Service (NWS).
  • Winterize your vehicle and keep the gas tank full. A full tank will keep the fuel line from freezing.
  • Insulate your home by installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic from the inside to keep cold air out.
  • Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected every year.
  • Bring pets/companion animals inside. Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas with non-frozen drinking water.
  • Running water, even at a trickle, helps prevent pipes from freezing.
  • All fuel-burning equipment should be vented to the outside and kept clear to prevent carbon-monoxide poisoning or fire.

Supplies You Will Need to Prepare for a Winter Storm and a Possible Power Outage 

  • Water—at least a 3-day supply; one gallon per person per day
  • Food—at least a 3-day supply of nonperishable, easy-to-prepare food
  • Flashlight
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
  • Extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Medications (7-day supply) and medical items (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, cane)
  • Multi-purpose tool
  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items
  • Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
  • Cell phone with chargers
  • Family and emergency contact information
  • Extra cash
  • Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
  • Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
  • Tools/supplies for securing your home
  • Sand, rock salt or non-clumping kitty litter to make walkways and steps less slippery
  • Warm coats, gloves or mittens, hats, boots and extra blankets and warm clothing for all household members
  • One or more alternate heating methods such as fireplaces or wood- or coal-burning stoves

 After a Severe Winter Storm 

  • Go to a designated public shelter if your home loses power or heat during periods of extreme cold.
  • Avoid driving when conditions include sleet, freezing rain or drizzle, snow or dense fog.
  • Before tackling strenuous tasks in cold temperatures, consider your physical condition and the nature of the task.
  • Protect yourself from frostbite and hypothermia. Stay indoors, if possible.
  • Help people who require special assistance such as elderly people living alone, people with disabilities and children.
  • Check on your animals and make sure that their access to food and water is not blocked by snow drifts, ice or other obstacles. 

Make a Donation.

To help people affected by disasters like severe winter storms, please make a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance in response to disasters like winter storms and power outages. To donate, please go to or or call 1-800-853-2570. Contributions may also be sent to American Red Cross of Idaho, 5371 W. Franklin Road, Boise, ID 83705.


 If you are interested in ongoing volunteer opportunities, go to and click on “Volunteer” to start your application. All training is free and open to the public.

Source: American Red Cross

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