Winter Storm Survival Tips from the OVFD.

Winter storms can be a fun with the family or a devastating emergency. How well you prepare for the storm is a major factor in determining which experience you will have.

When storms arrive, you could be trapped in your home for several days. Plan to be self-sufficient by having the supplies you will need.

Severe Weather Kit

Assemble a severe weather kit for your house with essentials.

  • A battery-operated or win-up radio
  • Flashlight
  • Extra batteries*
  • Matches
  • Non-perishable foods that don’t need refrigeration or cooking*
  • Can opener (non electric)
  • Bottled water*
  • Fire extinguisher
    • *replace every 6 months

As the storm approaches

Go shopping to make sure you have enough of the following supplies:

  • Prescription medications
  • Infant formula (and bottled water to mix with)
  • Diapers
  • Extra bottled water (1 gallon per person per day)

Preparing your house

It isn’t any good to plan to stay in your home if your home is not safe to stay in. A little extra work outside will make your home safer.

  • Remove dead tree branches. Ice and snow can cause them to snap.
  • Clean gutters. Clutter can cause melting snow and ice to back up and damage your home.
  • Check vents to make sure they are clear. Clogged vents can cause a build up of toxic gases in your home.
  • If the power goes out for an extended time, drain the pipes to avoid freezing.
  • If your pipes do freeze, never try to thaw them with a blow torch or open flame.
  • Check your smoke detectors and CO detectors. If you don’t have a CO detector, consider getting one.
  • Store important documents in a waterproof location or a safety deposit box.

Heating your home

  • Have plenty of blankets, sleeping bags, and sweaters handy to stay warm.
  • Close doors to rooms you don’t plan to use to keep heat concentrated.
  • Keep space heaters away from walls and flammables like curtains or furniture.
  • Don’t use extension cords with your electric space heaters.
  • Never use your stove or oven to heat your house.

During the storm

  • Drifting snow can close vents. Keep them open to avoid toxic gas buildup.
  • Keep fire hydrants outside your home clear of snow. If a fire does start, this could save your house.

If you must leave your house

  • Don’t overexert yourself. Heart attacks are common in people who work outside in the cold.
  • Give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination. It is better to arrive late than not at all.
  • Clear off your car windows and lights so you can see and be seen.
  • If you are not in town, never leave your car in favor of walking. You have better odds of being found if you stay with your car.
  • Wear bright colored clothes to be more easily seen.
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Chief Dell Simmerman

409 East 2nd Street
Ogallala, Nebraska 69153
Phone: 308.284.4553
After Hours: 308.284.2024
Fax: 308.284.3718


© 2017 Ogallala Volunteer Fire Department