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Winter Weather

Hazard rank in the 2021 Clinton County Hazard Mitigation Plan (1 highest priority to 16 lowest priority): 7​, which could result in or initiate 2 Utility Failure, 5 Hazardous Materials release, and/or 8 seasonal Flooding.

Winter storms create a higher risk of car accidents, hypothermia, frostbite, carbon monoxide poisoning, and heart attacks from overexertion. Winter storms including blizzards can bring extreme cold, freezing rain, snow, ice and high winds.


A winter storm can:
  • Last a few hours or several days.

  • Cut off heat, power and communication services.

  • Put older adults, children, sick individuals and pets at greater risk.

Prepare BEFORE Winter Weather​


Know your winter weather terms:

Winter Storm WARNING

Issued when hazardous winter weather in the form of heavy snow, heavy freezing rain, or heavy sleet is imminent or occurring. Winter Storm Warnings are usually issued 12 to 24 hours before the event is expected to begin.

Winter Storm WATCH

Alerts the public to the possibility of a blizzard, heavy snow, heavy freezing rain, or heavy sleet. Winter Storm Watches are usually issued 12 to 48 hours before the beginning of a Winter Storm.

Winter Weather ADVISORY

Issued for accumulations of snow, freezing rain, freezing drizzle, and sleet which will cause significant inconveniences and, if caution is not exercised, could lead to life-threatening situations.

Know Your Risks for Winter Storms:

Preparing for Winter Weather:
  • Planning.

    • Review your household emergency plan (where to go, who to call, what to do, et cetera).  If you don't have one, make one.

    • Discuss weather related changes due to the cold or impact to travel.

    • Ensure you know the expectation and rules of your employer and school(s) during a Snow Emergency.

  • People.

    • Inventory and check your winter clothing to ensure you have everything at the ready, in the event you need to replace a pair of gloves.

  • Home.

    • Prepare your home to keep out the cold with insulation, caulking and weather stripping.

    • Check your snow-removal equipment and supplies (e.g. shovel, salt, gas, et cetera).

    • Learn how to keep pipes from freezing.

      • Check your water storage capability (in the event of a water main break).  Calculate one gallon per person/pet, per day.​

    • Install and test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors with battery backups.

  • Food / Supplies / Medication.

    • Gather supplies in case you need to stay home for several days without power.

    • Remember the needs of your pets.

    • Keep in mind each person’s specific needs, including medication.

    • Have extra batteries for radios and flashlights. 

  • Vehicle.​

    • Before the snow starts, fill your car up with gas and lift your wipers. Lifting your wipers before a storm will make it easier to clean the ice and snow from your windshield afterwards. Also, it will prevent the wipers from sticking to the glass and becoming damaged.​

In Case of Emergency:
  • Be prepared for winter weather at home, at work and in your car.

  • Create an emergency supply kit for your car.

    • Include jumper cables, sand, a flashlight, warm clothes, blankets, bottled water and non-perishable snacks. Keep a full tank of gas.

Stay Safe DURING Winter Weather

Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Never heat your home with a gas stovetop or oven.  Only use generators and grills outdoors and away from windows.


  • Stay off roads if at all possible. If trapped in your car, then stay inside.

  • Limit your time outside. If you need to go outside, then wear layers of warm clothing. Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia.

  • Reduce the risk of a heart attack by avoiding overexertion when shoveling snow and walking in the snow.

Learn the signs of, and basic treatments for, frostbite and hypothermia:

Frostbite causes loss of feeling and color around the face, fingers and toes.

  • Signs: Numbness, white or grayish-yellow skin, firm or waxy skin.

  • Actions: Go to a warm room. Soak in warm water. Use body heat to warm. Do not massage or use a heating pad.

Hypothermia is an unusually low body temperature. A temperature below 95 degrees is an emergency.

  • Signs: Shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech or drowsiness.

  • Actions: Go to a warm room. Warm the center of the body first—chest, neck, head and groin. Keep dry and wrapped up in warm blankets, including the head and neck.

Snow Emergency Levels

The Clinton County Sheriff’s Office declares Weather Advisories with input from the Clinton County Highway Department and the Ohio Department of Transportation. Weather Advisories are not meant to inconvenience anyone, but are meant to warn the public of hazardous conditions and enable local road crews to clear the roadways more efficiently.


The public is encouraged to tune into local radio stations and/or Cincinnati and Dayton TV networks to obtain Winter Weather Advisories. Please refrain from calling 911 for information regarding Weather Advisories. Weather Advisories are classified as follows:

Level 1– Roadways are hazardous; drive very cautiously.

Level 2– Roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow; roadways are also icy. Only those who feel it is necessary to drive should be out on the roadways. Contact your employer to see if you should report to work.

Level 3– All roadways are closed to non-emergency personnel. No one should be out during these conditions unless it is absolutely necessary to travel. All employees should contact their employer to see if they should report to work. Those traveling on the roadways may subject themselves to arrest.


Winter Weather Fact Sheet.

NWS Winter Weather Page (Experimental) 

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