from Southeastern Idaho Public Health

We all remember the large snowstorms and seemingly endless snowfall impacting southeast Idaho this past winter. All the accompanying challenges with just getting out of the driveway, traversing drifted highways and the ensuing floods this past spring were almost overwhelming at times. No one wants to have to go through that again, but it looks like we might . . . So we pose the question:

Are you prepared for this winter?

Where can you get an up-to-date local forecast for where you live? Do you have an emergency car-kit for those times when you might be stranded due to impassable roads? Is your family prepared with a three-day emergency kit if you’re stranded at home without power? What about caring for your elderly or disabled family and friends? Do you have enough necessary medications? And what about your pets? These are just a few questions to consider as winter approaches.

The resources to help all of us prepare and be ready to confront winter weather are numerable and quite informative. is a Department of Homeland Security website is dedicated to educating and helps prepare individuals for many types of emergencies.  Outlined below are several links to help you address those questions and more.

Weather Forecasts:  Knowing what to expect is the first step in being prepared.

The local National Weather Service office for Southeast Idaho (Pocatello, ID) is providing several forums to help the communities know what to expect in your area. Daily recorded weather briefs are available by 5 a.m. each day, reflecting the next three-day forecast at  

Emergency-Kits:  Survival for at least 72 hours includes having food, water and other supplies.

Specifically for emergency kits, the website, outlines how to build an emergency kit for your home and for your vehicle. A list of potential supplies and guidance for pets and other unique needs are also discussed. Most of the items listed are inexpensive and easy to find, and any one of them could save your life.

Make a Plan for Special Needs and Responsibilities: Consider specific needs in your household.

As you prepare your plan, tailor your plans and supplies to your specific daily living needs and responsibilities. Openly discuss with family members your needs and responsibilities and how people in your network can assist each other with communication, care of children, business, pets, or specific needs like the operation of durable medical equipment or maintaining prescriptions.  

Create your own personal network with family and friends for specific areas where you need assistance. Keep in mind some these factors when developing your plan:

  • Different ages of members within your household
  • Responsibilities for assisting others
  • Dietary needs
  • Medical needs including prescriptions and equipment
  • Disabilities or access and functional needs including devices and equipment
  • Languages spoken
  • Pets or service animals
  • Households with school-aged children

So . . .make a plan today! Decide how you and your family and friends will survive another harsh winter or any type of emergency or natural disaster.  

And most importantly . . . Make your plan! Communicate your plan! Practice your plan!