Winter Weather Emergencies

Winter storm debris

Winter weather and storms can range from mild to severe, and can include dangerously low temperatures, snow, sleet, and hail, along with strong and blinding winds. These storms can affect wide geographic areas, and may contribute to serious health and safety concerns.

Contribute to "a nation of resilient communities" by educating yourself and others on disaster health topics related to winter weather. NCDMPH has gathered resources to assist health professionals in preparing for winter weather. By providing these resources, the National Center aims to foster resilience through learning. The organization of this content is intended to facilitate self-directed learning as well as provide materials for educators. This is an initial effort and we will continue to add to these resources.

Ideas for educators who are teaching health professionals interested in learning content or activities related to health impacts of winter weather emergencies may be found here.


-- Background --

National Library of Medicine Disaster Information Management Research Center: Weather and Storms

National Weather Service: Winter Windchill Chart

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Winter Weather FAQs

American Academy of Pediatrics: Winter Storm Tips

CDC: Winter Weather Public Service Announcements (PSAs) and Podcasts

CDC: Preparing for and Responding to Extreme Heat and Cold Events

CDC National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH): Cold Stress

American Red Cross: Winter Storm Preparedness

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA): Winter Storms & Extreme Cold

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, US Department of Commerce, National Weather Service, American Red Cross: Winter Storms - The Deceptive Killers PDF 

Xu G. et al. Incidences, Types, and Influencing Factors of Snow Disaster-Associated Injuries in Ningbo, China, 2008. Disaster Medicine and Public Health 2012 Dec; 6 (4): 363-9


-- Health Impacts --

CDC: Hypothermia

CDC: Frostbite

US Department of Health and Human Services (Flu.gov): Seasonal Flu

Analitis, A., et al. Effects of Cold Weather on Mortality: Results from 15 European Cities Within the PHEWE Project. American Journal of Epidemiology 2008; 168 (12): 1397-1408

Mercer, JB. Cold - An Underrated Risk Factor for Health. Environmental Research 2003; 92 (1): 8-13

Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety: Health Effects of Cold

Nayha, S.: Cold and the risk of cardiovascular diseases. A review. Int J Circumpolar Health 2002 Nov; 61 (4): 373-80

Smirniotopoulos, James. Dangers of Carbon Monoxide: MedPix COW No. 699 (YouTube)

CDC, NIOSH: Cold Stress


-- Healthcare systems --

Levy, JL, et al: A novel intervention for decreasing hospital crowding following the blizzards of 2010. Am J Disaster Med 2011 Jul-Aug 6; (4): 255-8

Gaynor, PT. Snow: Building a better all-hazards response. J Bus Contin Emer Plan 2013 Summer; 6 (4): 314-21


-- Evacuation and sheltering --

NCDMPH: Tracking and Reunification of Children in Disasters

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality: Hospital Evacuation Decision Guide PDF 

CDC: Winter Weather Checklists

FEMA: National Shelter System Fact Sheet

American Red Cross: Winter Storm Safety Checklist PDF 

FEMA: U.S. Fire Administration:Winter Fire Safety

National Fire Protection Association: Put a Freeze on Winter Fires


-- Psychosocial --

US National Library of Medicine & National Institutes of Health: Medline Plus: Coping with Disasters

US National Library of Medicine & National Institutes of Health: Medline Plus: Seasonal Affective Disorder

SAMHSA. Post-Disaster Retraumatization: Risk and Protective Factors.  YouTube 


-- Community Health & Recovery --

Conlon, K. et al: Preventing cold-related morbidity and mortality in a changing climate

CDC: Returning Home after a Disaster: Be Healthy and Safe

CDC: Clean Up Safely After a Disaster