Winter is here! Are you prepared?

Winter is Coming....Prepare Now!

“Winter officially begins Thursday, December 21st with a forecast of falling temperatures and a chance for a wintry mix in the coming days. Now is the time to review your family winter safety plans,” said Dale Lane, Shelby County Office of Preparedness (SCOP) Director.

Communicate / Stay Informed:

  •   Ensure mobile devices can receive messages from the Emergency Alert System, Wireless Emergency Alerts, and NOAA weather radio.
  •   Have a NOAA battery-powered radio.
  •   Charge your devices!
  •   Program emergency phone numbers in cell phones.
  •   Fill out the Family Communications Plan at

  •   Download SCOP-recommended mobile apps:
     ReadyTN at
     National Weather Service Mobile Weather at
  •   Learn the weather terms:
     Wind Chill Index: How cold it feels. The combined effect of wind and cold temperatures.  Advisory: Be aware! Winter weather is possible. Anticipate delays and inconveniences.  Watch: Stay prepared! Winter weather is probable. Review your safety plans.
     Warning: Winter weather is imminent. Listen to local emergency officials. Take action!

    Dress for the Weather: Wear long layers, a warm hat, mittens, waterproof boots, a scarf, and a face mask.

    Winterize Your Home: Anticipate power outages.

  •   Build a Home Emergency Kit: Include flashlight,

    batteries, NOAA radio, cell phone / charger, bottled water, non-perishable food, clothing, Mylar blanket, medication, first-aid kit, fire extinguisher, tools, whistle, portable toilet, hygiene supplies, cash, HELP / OK sign, and pet supplies.

  •   Protect Plumbing:
     Insulate exposed pipes and place hard covers over outdoor faucets.
     During freezing temperatures, let faucets drip and open cabinet doors under faucets.
  •   Insulate: Install calk, weather stripping, insulation and storm windows.
  •   Chimney / Fireplace: Have a professional clean and inspect both annually.
  •   Secondary Heating Devices: Inspect propane heaters and fireplaces before use.
  •   Portable Generators: Inspect portable generators before use.

     Operate generators at least 20 feet from the home in an open area away from windows.

  •   Smoke / Carbon Monoxide Detectors / Extinguishers:
    •   Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on each level of the home and outside sleeping areas. Test them monthly.
    •   Have a fire extinguisher on each level of the home near the exits.

      Pets: Bring pets into a warm, dry, enclosed area. Ensure they have food and water.

 Move livestock to a sheltered area. Ensure they have non-frozen drinking water.

Neighbor Check: Check on neighbors who may be at-risk during cold weather events.

Winterize Vehicles:

  •   Tune up: Check tires, battery, antifreeze, fluids, brakes, wipers, lights, heater, and defroster.
  •   Fill up: Keep your gas tank full.
  •   Auto Emergency Kit: Include: NOAA radio, cellphone / charger, booster cables, kitty litter, road salt,

    shovel, ice scraper, tools, first-aid kit, gloves, boots, flashlight, batteries, map, Mylar blankets, HELP / OK sign, bottled water, nonperishable food, portable toilet, and hygiene items.

    Safe Travel: Heed travel advice from emergency management officials and stay off the roads unless it is an emergency.

If you must travel:

 Check road conditions at TDOT (  Use the roads most traveled as they are likely treated.
 Inform family of your route and estimated time of arrival.  Remember, “Ice and snow, take it slow!”


View “When the Sky Turns Gray,” video at