Here is the NOAA site: http://www.noaawatch.gov/ They changed how the site works. Just look along the right border for the disaster of your choice and it tells you how that one is doing.
NOAA also has a hurricane tracker, but this giant storm is not a hurricane, so the hurricane watch won't help you if you are in it. If you happen to want to look at hurricanes, there is a link to one near Florida now.
Every time there is a cold weather disaster people die from carbon monoxide poisoning. DO NOT USE AN UNVENTED HEATER INSIDE!!! If that is the only heat you have take it outside away from your doors and windows and heat up bricks and wrap them in towels or blankets to take inside. You can also heat rocks or water to put in a hot water bottle and take those inside.
I already posted repeatedly about making a shelter for sheltering in place if you need to stay home during a power outage. This means you need to stack up a lot of fabric, paper, and cardboard around a small area just a little bigger than the body or bodies to occupy it. In order to get warm in there you need 15 to 18 inches of stuff stacked around you. You need something sturdy to hold up all of this insulating stuff over your head.
Suggestions I have read are using a chair at either end and then putting a board or broomstick across them. I think a lot of broomsticks might break. It might be better to put at least a couple of them to hold the weight better.
The objective of all the above stacking of insulating material is to trap body heat in there to keep you warm. If you have a pet or pets, it is a good idea to take them in there with you even if you are not worried about them suffering from the cold. Dogs and cats put out a lot of heat. Their body temperature is several degrees higher than normal for humans.
Here is a link to emergency supplies check lists from Ready.gov:
Here is what the Red Cross has to say about how to tell what is happening in your area:
Know the Difference
Winter Storm Outlook - Winter storm conditions are possible in the next 2 to 5 days.
Winter Weather Advisory - Winter weather conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences and may be hazardous. When caution is used, these situations should not be life threatening.
Winter Storm Watch - Winter storm conditions are possible within the next 36 to 48 hours. People in a watch area should review their winter storm plans and stay informed about weather conditions.
Winter Storm Warning - Life-threatening, severe winter conditions have begun or will begin within 24 hours. People in a warning area should take precautions immediately.
The following is the Red Cross' recommended supplies for Cold weather emergencies:
❏ Water—at least a 3-day supply; one gallon
per person per day
❏ Food—at least a 3-day supply of nonperishable, easy-to-prepare food
❏ Battery-powered or hand-crank radio
(NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
❏ Extra batteries
❏ First aid kit
❏ Medications (7-day supply) and medical
items (hearing aids with extra batteries,
glasses, contact lenses, syringes, cane)
❏ Multi-purpose tool
❏ Sanitation and personal hygiene items
❏ Copies of personal documents
(medication list and pertinent medical
information, proof of address, deed/lease
to home, passports, birth certificates,
❏ Cell phone with chargers
❏ Family and emergency contact
❏ Extra cash
❏ Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby
❏ Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food,
❏ Tools/supplies for securing your home
❏ Sand, rock salt or non-clumping kitty
litter to make walkways and steps less
❏ Warm coats, gloves or mittens, hats, boots
and extra blankets and warm clothing for
all household members
❏ Ample alternate heating methods such as
fireplaces or wood- or coal-burning
I have not included the current FEMA and other government supplies lists for cold weather emergencies because they are pretty useless. I do have their old lists, which are useful, in early posts. They would be in the early part of 2012 or the last 3 months of 2011.
Look at the basic emergency supplies checklists and then compare them to the Red Cross cold weather emergency supplies checklist.
If you are freezing your fanny off right now and can't get to the store or the store has already had all the shelves emptied, please stack up your stuff to insulate yourself and scrounge for whatever you can eat in your home.
I hope you will put cold weather emergency supplies on your shopping list wherever you live. Mother Nature has gone whacko because of climate change and we no longer can depend on what the weather will do. Be sure to look at my posts about the climate change movement. There are petitions you can sign there to ask Obama to work on climate change. You might be noticing we need that.