Tips to Prepare for Winter Weather
Even though we're so far south, New Orleans can see dangerous winter weather. Extreme cold, dense fog, and even ice & snow storms are possible during the winter months. Dangers from these weather conditions include unsafe roads, cold-related illness, fires, and power outages. When there's a winter weather risk in New Orleans, the National Weather Service issues alerts.
Freeze Warning: Air temperature is expected to be 32 degrees F or lower for a significant amount of time
Hard Freeze Warning: Air temperature is expected to be 25 degrees F or lower for long enough to freeze water pipes
Wind Chill Advisory: issued when wind chills, or "feels like temps," are 13 degrees F or colder AND are expected to last for two hours or longer.
Wind Advisory: issued when the following conditions are expected for 1 hours or longer -- 1) sustained winds of 26-39 mph OR 2) gusts 40 mph or greater.
High Wind Warning: issued when the following conditions are occuring or imminent -- sustained winds of 40 mph or higher for one hour or more OR 2) wind gusts of 58 mph or higher for one hour or more.
Dense Fog Advisory: Widespread or localized fog reduces visibility to 1/4 mile or less
Winter Storm Warning: A mix of wintry precipitation (freezing rain or snow) is happening or is about to happen
Ice Storm Warning: Heavy freezing rain is happening or is about to happen
During extreme cold
- Stay inside in heat during extreme cold.
- If you are homeless, seek shelter. During extreme cold, the citywide freeze plan will offer free shelter for homeless residents.
- If you have to go outside, wear layers, a hat & gloves and carry a cell phone.
- Check on neighbors, children, the elderly & chronically ill to make sure they are okay.
- Bring pets inside.
Know the signs of cold-related illness
See a doctor immediately or go to the emergency room if you or someone you know has these symptoms:
SIGNS OF HYPOTHERMIA
- Shivering or fumbling hands
- Exhaustion or drowsiness
- Confusion or memory loss
- Slurred speech
- Bright red, cold skin or very low energy in infants
SIGNS OF FROSTBITE
- Redness or pain in any skin area
- White or grayish-yellow skin area
- Skin that feels unusually firm or waxy
Practice fire safety & prepare your home