Winter weather can be unpredictable and dangerous. While many people prefer to remain indoors during winter, staying inside is no guarantee of safety. Stay safe and healthy by planning ahead. 

Winter storms and cold temperatures can be dangerous. Stay safe and healthy by planning ahead. Prepare your home and care. Prepare for power outages and outdoor activity. If you do not have access to a heater, visit friends or family or try to find movie theaters, malls, libraries and other public places that are heated.

If you must go outside:


Dress to withstand the lowest temperature or the wind chill temperature.

Dress in layers so that you can remove them as you get warm.

When the temperatures are below zero, all exposed skin should be covered. 

Wear waterproof boots to keep your feet dry.

For the home:
Chimney/flue should be inspected annually. 
Furnace system and vent should be checked by a qualified technician. 
Install a smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector (check batteries monthly and replace twice a year).
Have an emergency kit.

Prepare Your Car

Make sure that your vehicle is in tip top shape before winter weather arrives to reduce your chances of becoming stranded.
  • Have maintenance service on your vehicle as recommended
  • Check antifreeze level
  • Replace windshield wipers (if needed) and replace windshield wiper fluid with wintertime mixture
  • Make sure battery is in good shape
  • Replace worn tires and check air pressure in the tires
  • Keep gas tank near full to help avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines
Have an emergency preparedness kit that includes:
  • Battery-powered radio and extra batteries
  • Blanket or sleeping bag
  • Snow brush and ice scraper
  • Jumper cables
  • Emergency flares
  • Extra windshield wiper fluid
  • Sand or non-clumping cat litter to help with tire traction
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Bottled water and nonperishable high-energy foods
  • First aid kit and necessary medications
  • Extra clothing, boots, hats and gloves/mittens
  • Cell phone and car charger
  • Shovel
  • Flashlight
  • Tow rope
  • Have extra supplies if you're traveling with a baby/small child (diapers, etc.)
Read more information on winter safety for the most current up-to-date information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Winter Assistance Programs

Ohio Home Weatherization Assistance Program (HWAP)  The program reduces low-income households' energy use, thus creating more affordable housing for those in most need. Services include attic, wall and basement insulation; blower-door-guided air leakage reduction; heating system repairs or replacements; and health and safety testing and inspections. Call  (800) 282-0880 or fill out and mail an application to P.O. Box 1240, Columbus, Ohio 43266-0583.
Columbia Gas of Ohio HeatShare Program Customers of Columbia Gas of Ohio are eligible for the HeatShare program if they have an annual gross household income at or below 175 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. Households experiencing unexpected financial hardships may also be eligible for the program, determined on a case-by-case basis. The HeatShare program provides Columbia customers with a one-time assistance grant of up to $250. Customers are only eligible for HeatShare once per year, and the assistance cannot be applied toward security deposits or bills that are not required to maintain service.
Breathing Association Provide help with winter heating and summer cooling programs through HEAP. For more information, call (614) 457-4570.