The red cross describes a winter storm as such:
“Winter storms can range from a moderate snow over a few hours to a blizzard with blinding, wind-driven snow that lasts for several days. Some winter storms are large enough to affect several states, while others affect only a single community. Many winter storms are accompanied by dangerously low temperatures and sometimes by strong winds, icing, sleet and freezing rain.
Regardless of the severity of a winter storm, you should be prepared in order to remain safe during these events.”
One of the best things you can do to prepare for a winter storm is to be knowledgeable of them.
This constitutes having an abundant sense of what to do in general as well as knowing when a storm would be approaching you. If the weather seems to be leaning in that direction, make sure to check your local news sources for information as well as online if possible to glean whatever information you can on the severity of the approaching weather.
The red cross also states that the difference between regulation grades of winter storms can be described as:
“Winter Storm Outlook – Winter storm conditions are possible in the next 2 to 5 days.”
“Winter Weather Advisory – Winter weather conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences and may be hazardous. When caution is used, these situations should not be life threatening.”
“Winter Storm Watch – Winter storm conditions are possible within the next 36 to 48 hours. People in a watch area should review their winter storm plans and stay informed about weather conditions.”
“Winter Storm Warning – Life-threatening, severe winter conditions have begun or will begin within 24 hours. People in a warning area should take precautions immediately.”
How to be prepared.
Things you can do to make sure you are ready for the oncoming storm.
Make sure to keep everything you would need ready for the weather. For example prepare your vehicle, with things like a full tank of gas, new window wipers, store things that you may need like road salt, a brush and shovel, and perhaps put together some things for the sole purpose of adding weight to the vehicle for the sake of traction.
It may also be wise to put together a kit of various things you may need for yourself as well. Building a kit of some kind that contains things like medicines, and other medical treatments (like sterile bandages, antiseptics, etc.) as a first aid kit is an important resource to have in a crisis. You may also want to have food and water, as they would be necessary for your survival in an emergency. Things like flashlights, radios, and extra batteries for them are certainly beneficial. Some sort of tool set or multi-purpose tool would be good to have. Extra sets of warm clothing and outdoor gear would be a good idea, as well as alternate heating methods in the case of a power outage.
Always be prepared, as it is your best defence from the possibility of inclement weather.
Be sure to read more from the red cross to be as prepared as possible.