Winter Preparedness

Some ideas to prepare for a winter storm:

  • Add the following supplies to your emergency kit:
    • Rock salt or more environmentally safe products to melt ice on walkways.
    • Sand to improve traction.
    • Snow shovels and other snow removal equipment.
    • Sufficient heating fuel.
    • Adequate clothing and blankets to keep you warm.
  • Make a Family Communications Plan. When an emergency or disaster happens, know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together and what you will do in case of an emergency.
  • Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio or other local news channels for critical information from the National Weather Service (NWS). Be alert to changing weather conditions.
  • Minimize travel. If travel is necessary, keep a disaster supplies kit in your vehicle.
  • Bring pets/companion animals inside during winter weather. Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas with non-frozen drinking water.

Emergency Preparedness Brochures are available at the Puyallup Library.

Winter Storm Terms

  • Freezing Rain - Rain that freezes when it hits the ground, creating a coating of ice on roads, walkways, trees and power lines.
  • Sleet - Rain that turns to ice pellets before reaching the ground. Sleet also causes moisture on roads to freeze and become slippery.
  • Winter Weather Advisory - Winter weather conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences and may be hazardous. When caution is used, these situations should not be life threatening.
  • Winter Storm Watch - A winter storm is possible in your area. Tune in to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for more information.
  • Winter Storm Warning - A winter storm is occurring or will soon occur in your area.
*Emergency Preparedness Brochures provided at Puyallup City Library

State Farm Insurance Tips - 5 Ways to Avoid Winter Falls

Do you know what to do when you encounter an icy parking lot or a slippery stretch of sidewalk? Help prevent painful slips and falls with these pointers:
  • Wear smart shoes. Before heading outdoors, slip your feet into flat shoes or boots that offer good traction. (Look for textured soles made of nonslip rubber or neoprene with grooved soles.) Steer clear of footwear with smooth soles or heels. Consider using products that attach to your shoes for added traction.
  • Modify your gait. Walk with your knees slightly bent, set your feet widely apart and point your toes outward. Shorten your stride and walk slowly to safely navigate the icy path. If you’re on a strict timeline, plan accordingly and leave early.
  • Maintain your balance. Walk with your arms held out to your sides. Avoid carrying anything heavy—it can throw off your balance. When walking up or down steps, grip the handrail.
  • Beware of “black” or “clear” ice. Looks can be deceiving. Even if a surface appears clear, proceed with caution. When it’s cold outside, extra-thin and very slippery layers of ice can form.
  • Break a fall. If you feel yourself falling backward, tuck in your chin to protect your head as much as possible. If you feel yourself falling forward, avoid the urge to use your arms to break your fall—you may do more harm to your body than good. Try to land on a part of your body with more padding. Wearing a bulky winter coat can provide an extra layer of protection. 

 AAA Recommends Winter Tips

AAA recommends the following winter driving tips:
  • Avoid driving while you're fatigued. Getting the proper amount of rest before taking on winter weather tasks reduces driving risks.
  • Never warm up a vehicle in an enclosed area, such as a garage.
  • Make certain your tires are properly inflated.
  • Never mix radial tires with other tire types.
  • Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze-up.
  • If possible, avoid using your parking brake in cold, rainy and snowy weather.
  • Do not use cruise control when driving on any slippery surface (wet, ice, sand).
  • Always look and steer where you want to go.
  • Use your seat belt every time you get into your vehicle.