American Red Cross urges people to prepare for winter weather

ALBANY, NY — The National Weather Service has issued warnings of freezing rain, sleet and snow to impact much of the Eastern New York Region from Sunday evening into Tuesday. Given the potential for power outages and hazardous travel across many of the communities we serve, the American Red Cross urges everyone to take steps to prepare now.


  • Tune in to local radio, TV or NOAA Weather Radio stations or channels for the latest weather updates for your area.
  • Know the difference between different weather alerts such as watches and warnings and what actions to take in each.
  • Download the Red Cross Emergency App and the Red Cross First Aid App for instant access to emergency alerts and safety information. Both apps are available to download for free in app stores or at


  • Ensure your family’s emergency preparedness kit is adequately stocked and up to date. To prepare for an emergency like a winter storm which could require sheltering in place, your kit should have a 2-week supply of non-perishable, easy to prepare food and water for each member of your household, including pets.

  • To keep food from spoiling during a power outage, keep on hand:

    • One or more coolers—inexpensive styrofoam coolers work well.

    • Ice—surrounding your food with ice in a cooler or in the refrigerator will keep food colder for a longer period of time during a prolonged power outage.

    • A digital quick-response thermometer—with these thermometers you can quickly check the internal temperatures of food to ensure they are cold enough to use safely.

  • Fill the gas tank in your car and consider getting extra containers to fill with gas. If power is out for an extended time, gas supply may be limited and lines at service stations long.

  • Have flashlights and batteries on hand, and avoid using candles for light if the power goes out.

  • If you have a generator, make sure it’s rated for the power you think you’ll need and know how to operate it safely. Install carbon monoxide alarms in central locations on every level of your home and outside sleeping areas. This will provide early warning of accumulating carbon monoxide.


  • If weather conditions make driving hazardous, stay off the roads if at all possible.

  • In the event of a power outage, remember that traffic lights will be out and roads may be congested. Eliminate unnecessary travel, especially by car.

  • If you must drive, make sure everyone has their seat belts on and give your full attention to the road. Remember that ramps, bridges and overpasses freeze before roadways and take extra caution. Don’t follow other vehicles too closely, don’t pass snow plows, and don’t use cruise control.

For more winter weather safety tips, please visit