It’s the first major winter storm of the season. Here’s how to prepare:

Photo by Iowa DOT.

By Matt Sieren, Iowa Public Radio

Whether you’ve been looking forward to it, or dreading it, how you prepare and what you do during the storm will have an impact on your safety. Here are some quick tips:

Winter weather travel preparations:


  • Strongly consider altering travel plans, if possible
  • Allow extra time to get to your destination
  • Pack a winter car kit

Winter weather in-home preparations:

  • Have a ready winter weather emergency kit
  • NOAA weather radio
  • Extra batteries
  • Camping lantern, flashlights – essentially, a reliable light source
  • Nonperishable, grab-and-go food just in case you lose power
  • Blankets and other warming items (again, in case you lose power)
  • Fresh water
  • Shoes & good snow boots
  • Spare charge battery packs to charge handheld devices
  • First aid kit

And during/after the storm, when shoveling:

  • Watch out for the wind chill
  • If it’s wet, heavy snow – pace yourself and take breaks
  • Wear good snow boots with good traction or YakTrak style spikes
  • Stay hydrated – shoveling is exertion, which results in perspiration and, potentially, dehydration

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