How You Can Prepare for Winter Storms With These Apps and Websites

If you live in a colder climate where snow or ice is commonplace, you might have second thoughts about traveling between December to February. After all, winter driving conditions can get hazardous, and you don’t want to get caught in a storm.
What if you still want to go out and enjoy the season in this bad weather? Is there any way to avoid those bad roads without becoming a hermit during the colder winter months?
Here’s how to use technology to avoid winter storms, ranging from apps to websites.
1. Ready.gov

Ready.gov is a weather preparedness website run by the government. On the website, Ready.gov tells you:

How to recognize severe weather.
How to prepare for severe weather.
What to do if you find yourself caught in a severe weather event.

Ready.gov covers every winter storm event or manmade disaster possible, ranging from hail to nuclear explosions. No, really.
The reason for this? The website aims to maximize awareness and minimize panic by breaking down what kind of weather is most likely to affect your region. You can see how this would come in handy during winter weather events.
As part of this in-depth planning, Ready.gov also shows you how to put together a family emergency plan for winter storm warnings. The information on Ready.gov is concrete, easy to understand, and vetted for accuracy. So you can trust the info you’re getting, and know what to do in an emergency.
2. The Weather Channel

The Weather Channel’s section on winter storms is a good resource for figuring out what the weather will be like in your area during the colder months.
While the articles are not as up-to-the-minute as something like The Weather Network’s radar maps, The Weather Channel will give you a good idea of the systemic issues affecting a particular area when it comes to winter storms. The site reports on the events that have already happened in your area and those that can be expected with a long-term forecast.
For example:

Let’s say you were planning to go on a road trip the next day, but there was a twenty-car pileup on a nearby highway.
Get available information on that pileup, along with feedback on whether or not slippery road conditions were involved.
Also, you can get a good estimate on how long the road is scheduled to be closed.

3. The National Weather Service: Winter Prediction Center

The Winter Prediction Center was set up by the National Weather Service to give you up-to-date information on weather events for every area in the United States.
The NWS aims to provide you with data on water safety, storm systems, long-term forecasts, and natural disasters. Additionally, the NWS draws its data from additional governmental resources, including its ability to rely on existing partnerships with other agencies when dealing with extremely bad storms.
You can stay as prepared as possible with the winter storm warnings. With a track record of doing just that for decades, they are a trusted and reputable source.
4. The Weather Network

The Weather Network is most commonly known as the go-to channel for up-to-the-minute weather reporting on current and future weather events. What is less well-known about this network, however, is that they also operate one of the top-rated weather apps.
Through the Weather Network’s app—available on iOS and Android—you can get updates on air quality or temperature fluctuations directly through your phone. The Network also relies on an extensive array of maps and local news stories to generate data.
Like the other sites on this list, The Weather Network is extremely accurate with the information it’s supplying.
Don’t like the apps, or don’t want to use them to get winter storm warnings? No worries. Just check out The Weather Network through your web browser to learn about bad road conditions for winter driving.
Download: The Weather Network for Android | iOS (Free)
5. Apple’s Weather App or Google Weather

Apple’s pre-installed “Weather” app for iOS devices is another source you can use. The app gives you current information on the weather forecast in your location, including snow, sleet, and hail. You can also find out the forecast for other regions, too, so long as you type them in.
Additionally—if you’re looking for another quick way to find local weather information—type “Google Weather” into Google’s search engine. Google will immediately give you detailed information on nearby temperature and precipitation trends. You can take a glance at the nice, simple infographic at the top to understand the trend.
You can also check out our article on the best weather widgets for Android.
6. Make an Emergency Kit With the Red Cross

Lastly, it’s really important to understand that while you can use all these apps to help you prep for a winter storm, it doesn’t actually change the fact that winter weather can be unpredictable.
Sometimes a storm will hit you unexpectedly that keeps you stuck outdoors or stranded.
A winter emergency car kit can help you handle this crisis. The Red Cross is a great resource when it comes to putting together kits.
According to The Red Cross—when designing one yourself—make sure you have a brightly colored tie or piece of fabric to mark your car in whiteout conditions. You also want to make sure you have enough water on hand to avoid dehydration. Store emergency blankets in your back trunk as well.
Outside of that: If it looks like bad weather will keep you trapped at home, it’s common sense to have a battery-powered radio on hand in case the power goes out. Also make sure to dress warmly, to keep your body temperature normal.
Don’t Get Stuck in a Winter Storm
Scheduling hang-ups due to winter storms are unavoidable in colder climates. However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t go outside at all. If you plan your day right, keep your schedule flexible, and use some of these tech tools to help, you can still get out and about with minimum difficulty.
Looking for other tools to help you navigate the weather, whether it’s winter or not? Here are the best weather apps for the iPhone.
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