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Office of Emergency Management

stay safe during extreme cold

Arctic air, together with brisk winds, can lead to dangerously cold wind chill values. People exposed to extreme cold are susceptible to frostbite in a matter of minutes. Areas most prone to frostbite are uncovered skin and the extremities, such as hands and feet. Hypothermia is another threat during extreme cold. Hypothermia occurs when the body loses heat faster than it can produce.

  • Protect pets and animals; bring them indoors or move to a sheltered area and ensure they have enough food and unfrozen water.
  • Protect your pipes by insulating them or allowing faucets to drip during severe cold.
  • Make sure your vehicle has at least half a tank of gas or more during extreme cold, in case you become stranded.
  • Protect yourself by covering all exposed skin, even if you will only be outside for a short period of time.


  • Heat your home safely; never use heaters that burn diesel/kerosene, propane, natural gas, charcoal, or wood indoors. 
  • If the power goes out, never use generators indoors; place them outside at least 10 feet from your home.
  • All these devices produce carbon monoxide, a colorless, odorless gas that can kill you.
  • Buy a carbon monoxide detector for your home and change the batteries every six months when you change your smoke detector batteries.


For more information on frostbite, hypothermia, and extreme cold weather safety, visit

Winter weather preparedness

Winter is here, and we have already experienced our first round of sleet and snow. The seasons can change quickly, and it's a reminder of the importance of being prepared all year long by keeping an emergency kit stocked with fresh supplies, an emergency plan that is up to date, and knowing how to stay informed in a variety of ways:

For more information about winter preparedness, visit our Winter Weather page, and watch the video below:

Ready Prince William: Winter Weather Preparedness




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