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Winter Storms & Extreme Cold

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Winter storms create a higher risk of car accidents, hypothermia, frostbite, carbon monoxide poisoning, and heart attacks from overexertion.  They can bring extreme cold, freezing rain, snow, ice, and high winds.


  • FIND SHELTER RIGHT AWAY.  Call 211 to locate a warming shelter.
  • Stay off the roads.
  • Clear exhaust vents.
  • Stay indoors and have warm clothes ready.
  • Bring your pets inside.
  • Listen for emergency information and alerts.
  • Locate electrical boxes and water shut off.
  • Prepare for power outages.
  • Use generators outside only.
  • Look for signs of hypothermia and frostbite.
  • Check on neighbors.

Stay informed

ReadyErie App

Download the free Ready Erie App to receive notifications, locate emergency shelters, view up-to-date evacuation maps, create a personalized emergency preparedness plan and more.

Sign up for the City of Buffalo BUFFALERT System to receive emergency alerts and severe weather warnings that could directly impact you and your family.

Listen to commercial radio and television stations for the latest winter weather conditions.

Make a plan & build your kits

During extremely cold weather, staying warm and safe can be a challenge. Learn how to prepare for winter storms, prevent cold temperature-related health problems, and protect yourself, your family, and your pets during all stages of a winter storm.

Make an emergency planMake a plan

Learn how to make a plan before an emergency happens.

Create an emergency plan which includes the following and practice the plan.

  • How you will get emergency alerts and warnings
  • What is your evacuation plan.
  • How you will reach family/friends.
  • Update your emergency kits.

Languages other than English: اللغة العربية (Arabic) | Español (Spanish) | Français (French) | Kreyòl Ayisyen (Haitian Creole)日本語 (Japanese)조선말 / 한국어 (Korean) | Русский (Russian) | Tagalog (Tagalog) | Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese) | 简体中文 (Chinese Simplified)

Emergency home kitBuild a home kit

Languages other than English: اللغة العربية (Arabic) | Español (Spanish) | Français (French) | Kreyòl Ayisyen (Haitian Creole)日本語 (Japanese) | 조선말 / 한국어 (Korean) | Русский (Russian) | Tagalog (Tagalog) | Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese) | 简体中文 (Chinese Simplified)

Emergency car kit

Build a car kit

Languages other than English: اللغة العربية (Arabic) | Español (Spanish) | Français (French) | Kreyòl Ayisyen (Haitian Creole) | 日本語 (Japanese) | 조선말 / 한국어 (Korean) | Русский (Russian) | Tagalog (Tagalog) | Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese) | 简体中文 (Chinese, Simplified)

Essential Travel Information

Health effects

Your personal health and safety can be in danger during extreme winter cold. When temperatures drop and as wind speed increases, heat can leave your body quickly and can lead to serious health problems such as those listed below.

If you are experiencing symptoms of any of these problems, call 911 Immediately.

Carbon monoxide (CO)

Carbon monoxide, or “CO,” is an odorless, colorless gas that can kill you.  CO is found in fumes produced any time you burn fuel in cars or trucks, small engines, stoves, lanterns, grills, fireplaces, gas ranges, or furnaces. CO can build up indoors and poison people and animals who breathe it.

Carbon MonoxideCO poisoning symptoms

CO symptoms are often described as “flu-like.” If you breathe in a lot of CO, it can make you pass out or kill you. People who are sleeping or drunk can die from CO poisoning before they have symptoms.  The most common symptoms of CO poisoning are:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Upset stomach
  • Vomiting
  • Chest pain
  • Confusion

More information about CO and CO poisoning

Information for seniors

Protect your pets

Dog with snow on faceSee links below, keep pets indoors, safe, and contact your veterinarian for any questions you have regarding your pets.

Help for the homeless

Information for restaurant owners

Additional winter safety resources