Winter Weather Preparedness Week 2022 is November 7–13
View the governor's Winter Weather Preparedness Week 2022 proclamation
Winter Weather Preparedness
The Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS), state partners and emergency personnel work to protect Hoosiers whenever hazardous weather happens across Indiana. Knowing where to find travel information and preparing ahead of time for all types of winter weather is important so Hoosiers can reduce their risk to harm.
County Travel Status Map
On February 14–16, 2021, between 6 and 12 inches of snow and strong winds created dangerous travel conditions and prompted most counties across Indiana to issue local travel advisories. These advisories were shared on news outlets and also shown on the IDHS statewide county travel status map. Many state agencies, private sector partners and non-governmental organizations rely on the map to make safe decisions during winter weather conditions. Counties decide whether to issue travel advisories, watches or warnings, and the map updates in real time when a county emergency management agency reports its county's updated travel status to the state. Be sure to check the map during the winter, and follow the winter safety tips below.
Not Just Snow and Ice
Cold temperatures, snow and freezing rain are common throughout Indiana from November through March each year. But Hoosiers should be prepared for other weather hazards during the wintertime too.
- Tornadoes can occur at any time of the year, as outbreaks in December 2015 and November 2013 showed. In December 2021, a deadly EF4 tornado ravaged western Kentucky and ended 20 miles south of the Indiana border. Review tornado safety tips
- Sometimes temperatures are warm enough that winter storm precipitation remains rain. In February 2018, record rainfall between 5 and 9 inches created widespread flooding, with numerous rivers reaching major flood levels and several setting new records. Review flooding safety tips
What are Advisories, Watches and Warnings?
Travel Map: Lowest level of advisory. Routine travel or activities may be restricted in areas because of a hazardous situation. Use caution or avoid those areas.
National Weather Service: Snow, blowing snow, ice, sleet or a combination of these is expected. Conditions should not be hazardous enough to meet warning criteria. Be prepared for winter driving conditions and possible travel difficulties. Use caution when driving.
Travel Map: Conditions are threatening to public safety. Only essential travel, such as to and from work or for emergencies, is recommended. Emergency action plans should be implemented.
National Weather Service: Conditions are favorable for a significant winter storm (heavy sleet, heavy snow, ice storm, heavy snow and blowing snow, or a combination).
Travel Map: Highest level of advisory. Travel may be restricted to emergency management workers only. Refrain from all travel and comply with emergency measures, public officials, disaster services and officers.
National Weather Service: Significant winter weather of snow, ice, sleet or blowing snow, or a combination. Travel will be difficult or impossible. Delay travel until conditions improve.
- Keep driving to a minimum in hazardous winter weather, but make sure your vehicle has a fully stocked emergency kit with items such as blankets, warm clothes and a flashlight in case you get stuck.
- Limit outdoor activity as much as possible. If going outdoors, bundle up with a scarf, mittens, hat and warm coat.
- Only use space heaters as a last resort. If used, make sure there is a 3-foot space between flammable objects and the heater.
- Six National Weather Service (NWS) offices cover Indiana and provide information about winter weather conditions. Learn which office covers your county and stay informed on what the current weather statements are for your area.
- Stock up on extra food and water in case roads become too dangerous.
- Have your fireplace or wood stove cleaned to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
- During power outages, go to the most insulated and interior room.