Winter Storm Preparedness

Winter Storm Preparedness U of m's Division of Public Safety and Security

Living in Michigan, it’s easy to become numb to the dangers severe winter weather may bring. However, it’s also important to be prepared.

Take precautions to minimize risks and keep yourself and your family safe.

  • Maintain an emergency supplies kit in both your home and your car. Include items such as:
    • Shovel
    • First aid kit with pocket knife
    • Windshield scraper and small broom
    • Necessary medications
    • Flashlight
    • Blankets
    • Battery-powered radio
    • Tow chain or rope
    • Extra batteries
    • Road salt and sand
    • Water
    • Jumper cables
    • Snack food
    • Emergency flares
    • Matches
    • Extra hats, socks, and mittens
  • While shoveling, keep up with the snowfall if possible:
    • Avoid overexertion; this could cause heart attack or other health complications.
    • Wear several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight and warm clothing.
    • Watch for signs of hypothermia: 
      • Uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness, and exhaustion
      • If symptoms occur:
        • Get to a warm location
        • Remove any wet clothing
        • Put on dry clothing
        • Wrap your entire body in a blanket
        • Warm the center of your body first
        • Drink warm, non-alcoholic and non-caffeinated beverages
        • Get medical help as soon as possible
    • Watch for signs of frostbite:
      • Loss of feeling and white or pale appearance in extremities such as fingers, toes, earlobes, and the tip of the nose 
      • If symptoms occur: 
        • Do NOT rub the affected area
        • Get medical help immediately
  • Drive only if it is necessary. Leave extra time in your commute and take it slow on ice and snow.
  • Avoid walking under heavily iced tree branches or buildings.

To learn more, review our severe weather safety tips or visit