Winter is looming and it is time for people to start thinking about hazardous weather conditions.

Click play below to hear KMZU’s Amanda Wagner speak with Jared Leighton, meteorologists for the National Weather Service.

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Local and national emergency authorities have deemed Wednesday, November 16, 2016 as Winter Weather Awareness Day.

“Its an attempt to remind people that winter is coming, its been a long warm summer and even this fall has been incredibly warm, so its pretty easy to forget how cold it can get, how bad storms can get in the area.” says Leighton. “…Winter Weather Awareness Day is us trying to reach out and just kind of remind people what it takes to be ready for high impact winter weather conditions.”


The Department of Public Safety gives tips on preparations to take:

  • Create a family emergency plan and an emergency kit.
  • Make sure alternate heat and power sources, such as fireplaces, wood stoves, kerosene heaters and generators function properly.
  • Remember space heaters are dangerous and potentially deadly when misused.
  • Know the risks of exposure to cold temperatures.
  • Assemble a separate vehicle winter emergency kit.

“I feel obligated to also mention some pitfalls with preparedness. A lot of times there are people that run generators in their house,” says Leighton. “…It creates carbon monoxide poisoning if you run that generator inside the house or inside the garage.”

The National Weather Service says that extreme cold temperatures are a big danger during winter months. Prolonged exposure to the cold can cause frostbite, hypothermia, or in extreme cases death.

“One thing that does happen quite a bit is heart attacks take place at the end of snow storms,” says Leighton. “…when people go out to start shoveling snow.”

Some more safety tips include:

  • Keep ahead of winter weather by listening to NOAA Weather Radio.
  • Check your food stock. Include food that requires no cooking
  • Dress for the conditions when outdoors.
  • Check your supply of heating fuel.

For more information head to