Winter Weather Preparedness Week Nov. 11-17

Posted on Monday Nov 12, 2012

The City of Evanston's Health Department reminds all residents to educate themselves on how to remain safe during winter weather events during Winter Weather Preparedness Week taking place from November 11 to 17, 2012. 

The city offers the following tips to stay safe during winter storms:

  • Have safe emergency heating equipment available;
  • Have disaster supplies, such as a flashlight, portable radio, first aid kit, adequate supply of medications and three-day supply of food and water, available in case the power goes out;
  • Stay indoors and dress warmly;
  • Conserve fuel;
  • If pipes freeze, remove any insulation and wrap pipes in rags. Completely open all faucets and pour hot water over the pipes, starting where they were most exposed to the cold;
  • If you must go outdoors during inclement weather, dress warmly and wear loose-fitting, layered, lightweight clothing. Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia;
  • Remember to help your neighbors who may require special assistance: infants, elderly people and people with special needs; and
  • Prior to the onset of winter weather, make sure your vehicle is prepared for weather extremes. Check tires, brakes, the battery and your heating and defrosting systems. Change anti-freeze if needed.

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency has developed a preparedness document that includes valuable information about how to prepare a winter storm survival car kit, driving safety tips and how to prepare yourself and your loved ones for a winter storm. This document, along with winter advisory terminology and storm tips from the American Red Cross, is available to view at

The city utilizes a variety of communication methods to inform residents and businesses about emergency situations such as winter weather events. Ways to stay connected with the City in these instances include:

During normal business hours, residents can seek shelter from winter weather elements at one of the City of Evanston facilities. If the City of Evanston’s Health Department director issues a cold emergency, various city facilities can be designated as official warming centers and may be open for extended or overnight hours. A cold emergency is only in effect when the national weather service issues a wind chill warning. The criteria for a wind chill advisory is wind chill equivalent -30◦ Fahrenheit or colder. 

For more information on winter weather, including terminology, warning and advisory criteria and snowfall statistics, please visit the National Weather Service Chicago/Romeoville winter weather webpage at