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Extreme winter weather can lead to closed roads and power outages. Are you prepared?

History has made it evident that winter in North Dakota is extreme and can immobilize an entire region. Historic snowfall in early October to record breaking snowfall for an entire winter season. Winter storms can result in difficult travel, closed highways, and power outages. Take action now to ensure the safety and comfort of your family in the event of severe winter weather.

Before a storm
• Have snow removal equipment
on hand, as well as rock salt to
melt ice and sand to improve
• Regular fuel sources may be cut
off, so make sure an alternative
is available to heat your home.
For example, store a good
supply of dry, seasoned wood for
your fireplace or wood-burning
• Keep fire extinguishers on hand
and make sure everyone knows
how to use them. Fires pose an
additional risk when alternate
heating sources are in use.
• Locate your main water supply
and valves; make sure you know
how to shut them off in case a
pipe bursts.
• Repair roof leaks and keep
gutters clear. Trim any tree
branches that could fall during
a storm.
• Winterize by caulking and
weather-stripping doors and
windows, sealing the attic area,
and installing storm windows.
This will help to keep your family
safe and comfortable during a

During a storm
• Listen to your radio, television,
or NOAA Weather Radio for
weather reports and emergency
• Eat regularly and drink ample
fluids but avoid caffeine and
• To conserve fuel, keep your
home cooler than average.
Temporarily close off heat to
some rooms.
• Watch for signs of frostbite;
these include loss of feeling and
a white or pale appearance in
extremities such as fingers and
toes. If symptoms are detected,
get medical help immediately.
• Drive only when necessary. If
you must drive, travel on main
roads during daylight hours.
Keep others informed of your

After a storm
• Avoid overexertion when
shoveling snow. Overexertion
can bring on a heart attack,
a major cause of death in the
winter. If you must shovel snow,
stretch before going outside.
• Help neighbors who may
require special assistance,
including infants, the elderly
and people with disabilities.
• If the pipes freeze, remove any
insulation and open all faucets;
pour hot water over the pipes,
starting where they were most
exposed to the cold. Do not try
to thaw them with a blow torch
or other open flame.
• Follow forecasts and be
prepared when venturing
outside. Major winter storms are
often followed by extremely cold

A little forethought and attention
to detail will help to ensure that
you and your family stay warm,
dry, and safe this winter, no matter
what the weather is outside.