Storm Season Safety: During a Snow Storm


The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) works with local and state authorities to provide the necessary resources to the residents of California for this storm season.

If you need to spend time outdoors:

  • Always have a fully charged cellphone and carry a portable recharger, if possible.
  • Wear several layers of loose clothing.
  • Move into warm locations during work breaks and try to limit the amount of time outside.
  • Pay attention to local weather forecasts and follow advice from locals.

Older adults

  • Ask for Help to clear ice and snow from your house and keep walkways and steps clear of snow and ice.
  • Make sure there is enough lighting outdoors, especially near walkways and stairs.
  • Have the contact information of a family member or friend who can regularly check in on you.
  • If you use walking aids such as a cane, walker, or a wheelchair, dry the wheels or tips of each before entering your home.

Car Safety Tips

  • Keep your gas tank full in case of evacuation or power outages. A full tank will also keep the fuel line from freezing.
  • Install good winter tires and make sure they have enough tread, or any chains or studs required in your local area.
  • Do not drive through flooded areas. Six inches of water can cause a vehicle to lose control or possibly stall. A foot of water will float many cars.
  • Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded. Roads may have weakened and could collapse under the weight of a car.
  • If a power line falls on your car you are at risk of electrical shock. Stay inside until a trained person removes the wire.
  • If it becomes hard to control the car, pull over, stop the car and set the parking brake.
  • If the emergency could affect the stability of the roadway avoid overpasses, bridges, power lines, signs, and other hazards.

Emergency Kit for the Car

In case you are stranded, keep an emergency supply kit in your car with these automobile extras:

  • Jumper cables
  • Flares or reflective triangle
  • Ice scraper
  • Car cell phone charger
  • Blanket
  • Map
  • Cat litter or sand (for better tire traction)

Generator Safety

  • Do not use generators indoors or in confined areas. Keep them outside away from buildings and anything flammable.
    • Place generators at least 20 feet away from your home
  • Check with neighbors and family to ensure they are aware of the risk of operating generators.
  • Before refueling generators, turn them off and let them cool for 15-20 minutes.
  • Never power the house wiring by plugging the generator into the wall outlet; instead use a heavy-duty, outdoor extension cord to plug appliances into generators.
  • Do not use generators in rain or wet conditions.
  • Place a fire extinguisher nearby.
  • Make sure your home has operating fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.


To plan your route, you can use the CalTrans QuickMap tool. This is the only reliable and official website that provides real time traffic information, including closures, active chain control requirements and incident reports.

Also, download the free QuickMap mobile app to have road conditions in the palm of their hands.