10 Important Cold Weather Preparedness Tips for Your Family

Cold Weather Survival Tips


Brrr!  Baby it’s Cold outside!  With temps below zero in much of the country and windchills hitting as low as -50 to -70 degrees below zero in much of the Midwest, there’s never been a more important time to know how to keep your family extra warm in chilly winter weather.

  1. Keep an eye on weather alerts and cancellations for your area including those for school, work and activities. Stay indoors and save tasks for warmer weather when possible.
  2. Dress in several layers of loose, warm clothing and make sure you’re keeping your head, hands, ears and feet warm. Be sure to wear a hat, scarf thick socks and warm winter boots. Do your best to stay dry because moisture whether it’s from sweat or melting snow can limit the insulating effect of warm clothes and avoid leaving skin exposed since frostbite can occur quickly.  Remove any wet clothing immediately when you come indoors.
  3. If you do go outside, limit the time spent outdoors with lots of breaks inside to warm up. Do not allow children to play outside in extreme temperatures and take advantage of public areas to warm yourself when outside.
  4. Make sure you pay attention to your body’s needs and get plenty rest, eat high energy foods and drink warm beverages and soup to keep your body warm. Avoid alcohol since it may give you a false sense of warmth and prevent you from properly preparing for extreme temperatures.
  5. Make sure your furnace is working properly and have a back up heat source such as a portable space heater available in case of emergency. Make sure you also have an emergency kit w/ extra blankets, medication, first aid kit, flashlight and batteries including a spare battery and/or charger pack for your mobile devices.
  6. Keep at least three days drinking water and canned/no-cook food on hand in case of power or water outage.
  7. Keep in touch with family, neighbors and friends and check on them frequently, especially those who are disabled or who live alone. Children and the elderly are the most at risk for the cold. If your elderly neighbors need assistance with chores, pitch in to help them until temperatures are warmer.
  8. If you have to travel, make sure your vehicle is in good working condition with a full tank of fuel and a fully charged battery. If you run your car to warm it up, run it no more than 10 minutes and make sure if it is running in a garage that the door is open to allow ventilation.
  9. When leaving home, make sure your car is packed with an emergency preparedness kit that includes blankets, bottled water, waterproof matches, tool kit, paper towels, bag of sand or kitty litter, small shovel , protein bars (or other high energy foods), emergency tire repair kit and a brightly colored cloth you can use as a flag.
  10. Animals can be affected by frostbite and hypothermia too!  Make sure that you bring outdoor pets inside and that you keep a close eye on pets when taking them outside to relieve themselves. If you have strays in your area, do what you can to assist or contact animal control.


Thanks to the City of Chicago, WPXI.com and NJ.com for some of these tips!


  1. These are really useful tips. I’ll be sure to share these on social sites. Right now it’s right at 0 degrees here where I live. It’s so difficult to believe that yesterday around this time it was nice outside too. It dropped in temp fast!

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