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Severe Winter Storm Threats

The best way to protect yourself in a severe winter storm is to prepare before it arrives. Most winter storms do not last over a few days.

Outdoor Survival -- The Six Survival Rules

Tell someone where you are going and when you plan to return. If you move from one area to another, advise someone.
Never go on an outing by yourself.
Take enough food for several days.
Take a compass and map of the area and know how to use them. Before leaving camp, orient yourself to the area.
Wear proper clothing and equipment. Weather conditions can change quickly.
Plan your outing so that you can return to camp before dark.

If you find yourself stranded or lost outdoors, you can depend on these three things:

Clothing/equipment you have with you
Your ability to use whatever survival, knowledge and skills you possess
Your mental attitude - confidence in yourself, plus the desire to survive no matter how difficult circumstances may become.

STOP...when lost

S-Stop where you are. Stop, relax and regain your composure.
T-Think - keep your cool. Use your brain. It is your best survival tool. Make sure you have a clear head before making any decisions.
O-Observe your surroundings, your equipment and your physical condition. Identify the factors which most affect your possible survival and consider solutions.
P-Plan a course of action. Consider all factors, adopt a plan which best utilizes your skill, knowledge, equipment and your physical and mental state. Prevent and care for physical injuries, protect yourself from the elements (shelter and fire construction), prevent exposure, acquire water and prepare signals for attracting rescuers.

Vehicle Safety

Plan your travel and check weather reports to avoid the storm. Delay any trips if possible.

Conserve vehicle fuel, run the engine and heater about ten minutes each hour to keep warm, crack a window slightly to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. In extreme cold, use seat covers, newspapers, blankets or extra clothing for covering - anything to provide insulation and warmth. Turn the dome light on so rescue teams can spot you at night, but do not run the battery down. If you have a cell phone, use it as needed but leave it off when you are not using it so the battery will be available for a really urgent need.

Assemble supplies for a vehicle disaster supply kit, packing them in an easy-to-carry container.