Winter winter safety

Just because we’re hearty Iowans doesn’t mean we don’t need a few reminders about staying safe in winter weather.


Basic Tips

  • Check the Forecast: Make checking the forecast part of your regular routine so you’ll know when to expect cold weather.
  • Adjust Your Schedule: If possible, adjust your schedule to avoid being outside during the coldest part of the day, typically the early morning. If you wait for the bus only go out when it is absolutely necessary (no more then 5 minutes ahead of time) or wait inside a car.
  • Protect Your Pets: If you have pets make sure they have plenty of food and water, and are not overly exposed to extreme cold. If possible, keep them inside with you.


Car Tips

  • Fill up the tank: Make sure your car or vehicle has at least a half a tank of gas during extreme cold situations so that you can stay warm if you become stranded.
  • Have a Winter Car Survival Kit with items like:
    • Jumper cables
    • Flashlights
    • First Aid Kit
    • Food: non-perishable
    • Water
    • Basic toolkit: Pliers, wrench, screwdriver
    • Pet supplies
    • Radio
    • Cat litter or sand: For better tire traction
    • Shovel: To dig out snow
    • Ice scrape
    • Clothes: gloves, hat, sturdy boots, jacket
    • Warmers: Pack extra for body, hands, feet
    • Blankets
    • Charged Cell Phone: Keep a spare charger

Indoor/House Tips

*If you plan to use a wood stove, fireplace, or space heater, be extremely careful*

Have at least one of the following heat sources in case the power goes out:

  • Extra blankets
  • Sleeping bags
  • warm winter coats
  • Fireplace with plenty of dry firewood or a gas log fireplace
  • Portable space heaters (Should run on a battery)


Clothes Tips

NOTE: *As the temperature drops you should increase the amount of layers you wear*


  • 1-2 Layers for jackets and shirts (Outer Layer should keep out wind and rain)
  • Pants
  • NO shorts
  • Warm shoes preferably waterproof (No sandals)


  • 2-3 Layers of jackets and shirts (Outer Layer should keep out wind and rain)
  • 1-2 layers of pants (Example: long underwear and jeans)
  • Socks (fuzzy work best)
  • Boots or other warm shoes (should be waterproof)
  • Gloves
  • Hat


  • 3+ layers of jackets and shirts (Outer Layer should keep out wind, rain, and snow and one should be insulated)
  • 2-3+ layers of pants
  • 2-3 layers of socks (one thin one fuzzy and thick)
  • Boots and snow boots (should be insulated and water proof)
  • Insulated gloves or mittens
  • Warm hat
  • Face mask