Winter Weather Tips

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Winter Weather Tips

En Español

A winter storm can put older adults at greater risk because they often make less body heat due to a slower metabolism and less physical activity. Here are some tips to be prepared in case of a winter storm. 

Ask your doctor if any illnesses or conditions you have, as well as if the prescribed and over-the-counter medicines you take, affect body heat. Always talk with your doctor before you stop taking any medication.

If you receive dialysis or use other life-sustaining medical treatment, identify the location and availability of more than one facility and work with your provider to develop your personal emergency plan. Have emergency numbers for doctors, fire, police, and ambulance services available.
Be aware of the signs of hypothermia (when body temperature gets very low).

Early signs of hypothermia:

  • Cold feet and hands
  • Puffy or swollen face
  • Pale skin
  • Shivering 
  • Slower speech or slurring words
  • Acting sleepy
  • Being angry or confused

Later signs of hypothermia:

  • Moving slowly, trouble walking, or being clumsy
  • Stiff and jerky arm or leg movements
  • Slow heartbeat
  • Slow, shallow breathing
  • Blacking out or losing consciousness 




  • Continue to monitor local news
  • Stay indoors- pets too!
  • Set heat to 68–70°F
  • Dress in layers and use blankets to stay warm
  • Drip pipes to maintain water supply
  • If using space heater to warm home: keep at least 3 feet away from flammable material
  • DO NOT use an oven to heat home
  • Eat regularly    


  • Continue to monitor local news
  • Go to a designated shelter if your home loses power or heat
  • Text SHELTER + your ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA) to find the nearest shelter in your area (example: shelter 12345).

Sources:,, ready.gov