The Red Cross Has Cold Weather Safety Reminders.

Portland, OR (11/30/2023) – A winter storm watch will be in place in many parts of Oregon and SW Washington over the next few days. That means the mountains are expected to see heavy snow and the valleys will see heavy rainfall. Wind gusts could be as high as 55mph. The Red Cross has some tips to weather the storm, whether you are staying home or if you have plans to travel over the passes.

Outside Your Home

  1. Allow enough time to get where you are going.
  2. Keep a snow shovel, ice scraper, blanket, warm clothes, and other emergency supplies in your car.
  3. Minimize travel because traffic lights may be out, and the roads may be icy and dangerous. Don’t drive through large puddles or flooded areas.
  4. Watch for fallen trees and powerlines and stay clear of them until help can arrive.
  5. Make sure everyone has their seat belts on and give your full attention to the road.
  6. Do not follow other vehicles too closely. Sudden stops are difficult on snowy roadways.
  7. Do not use cruise control when driving in winter weather.
  8. Do not pass snowplows.
  9. Ramps, bridges, and overpasses freeze before roadways.
  10. Always stay connected with loved ones and neighbors to make sure they know where you are and that you are safe.

Inside Your Home:

  1. Plan to stay warm. Make sure you can safely heat your home. Dress in layers. Check insulation, caulking and weather stripping. Learn how to keep your pipes from freezing.
  2. Learn emergency skills. First aid and CPR skills are important to learn. Have working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors to keep your home safe. Keep generators outside, keep 3 feet of clearing around space heaters, and make sure your gas fireplace or other heating sources are working properly. Recognize the warnings of carbon monoxide poisoning. If you feel dizzy or nauseous, go outside and call 9-1-1.
  3. Stay connected through local media channels. Have a battery-operated radio. Download the Red Cross Emergency App to stay informed.
  4. Gather emergency supplies. Have fresh water (one gallon per day per person), non-perishable foods, and medications on hand. Ideally, you should have a 2-week supply.
  5. If you lose power, have a working flashlight available. Unplug appliances and turn off lights so you do not get a surge when the power returns. Keep the doors to the refrigerator and freezer closed as much as possible to keep the cold inside and your food supply safe.

Why It’s Important to Prepare

Extreme weather disasters are becoming more frequent in the United States. In 2023 alone, we have seen 25 billion-dollar disasters, forcing people to flee their homes because of storms, floods, hurricanes, and wildfires. These back-to-back disasters have also forced the cancellation of blood drives, straining our nation’s blood supply.

“Preparing for disasters before they happen can help us recover more quickly from them and more importantly, it can save lives,” says Red Cross Cascades CEO Priscilla Fuentes.

People can download the Red Cross Emergency App for instant access to weather alerts for their area and where loved ones live. Expert medical guidance and a hospital locator are included in the First Aid App in case travelers encounter any mishaps. Both apps are available to download for free in app stores or at

About the American Red Cross: 

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross. 

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