Red Cross Offers Winter Storm Safety Tips

Route 37 in Toms River was a mess during the 2/9/17 winter storm. (Photo by Laura Hoban)

The American Red Cross is keeping a close eye on the winter storm expected to impact NJ, bringing with it the potential for significant snowfall amounts, high winds and coastal flooding to affect various parts of the state. The Red Cross has steps people can take to prepare for and stay safe during this hazardous weather.

“As the winter storm approaches, we encourage everyone to stay alert to changing weather conditions and listen to the advice of local officials,” said Ana Montero, CEO, American Red Cross NJ Region. “The most important thing people can do right now is to get prepared.”

Here are 10 ways to prepare for and stay safe during this winter storm:

Have at least a three day supply of water and nonperishable, easy to prepare food as well as a seven day supply of medications.

Dress in layers of lightweight clothing to stay warm to go outside. Gloves and a hat will help prevent losing body heat.

  Winterize vehicles and keep the gas tank full. A full tank will help keep the fuel line from freezing.

Bring the pets indoors. If that’s not possible, make sure they have enough shelter to keep them warm and that they can get to unfrozen water.

Avoid frozen pipes: run water, even at a trickle, to help prevent them from freezing. Keep the thermostat at the same temperature day and night to help avoid freezing pipes.

Do not use a stove or oven to heat the home.

Space heaters should sit on a level, hard surface and anything flammable should be kept at least three feet away.

If using a fireplace, use a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs.

Turn off space heaters and make sure fireplace embers are out before leaving the room or going to bed.

Charge cell phones and keep flashlights handy in the event of a power outage.

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

Additional winter storm safety information and checklists are available at