Winter Weather

Winter Weather

Winters in the Northwest tend to be mild but there is still the possibility to experience freezing temperatures and wind, snow and ice storms. One of the primary concerns is the winter weather’s ability to knock out heat, power and communications services to your home or place of work and disrupt transportation to the places you need to go.

Build a Kit

Make sure you have an emergency kit in case you need to stay in your home during a winter storm and be prepared to deal with power and communications outages. Here are some additional items to include for winter weather:

  • Rock salt or more environmentally safe products to melt ice on walkways 
  • Sand to improve traction
  • Snow shovels and other snow removal equipment
  • Adequate clothing and blankets to keep you warm

Prepare Your Home

  • Make sure that your home is well insulated and that doors, windows, and pipes are properly insulated
  • Know how to shut off water valves (in case a pipe bursts)
  • Keep fire extinguishers on hand and make sure everyone in your home knows how to use them
  • Keep your car filled with gas and make sure all systems are prepared for winter weather
  • Keep trees and tree branches trimmed away from your home. These could break during wind storms and under heavy snow or ice and could damage your home.

Make a Plan

Make sure your family has an emergency plan. Knowing who is where and how to get a hold of them is key to making sure you can stay safe during an emergency. It also takes a level of stress out of the situation since you will already know who should be where or how to contact them.

Stay Informed

The following are links to additional resources that will help you prepare for a winter storm:

Public Health Quick Links
General Information
Phone Numbers
503-397-7247 24-hour Reporting 503-397-7247
Fax: 888-204-8568
Emergencies: Dial 911
230 Strand St.
Columbia County Courthouse Annex
St. Helens,

Monday - Friday
8:30 a.m. to 4:30


Columbia County Public Health is committed to improving the quality of life and protecting the health and well-being of all residents by addressing social, economic, and environmental conditions. Our goal is to ensure that all people in Columbia County have the opportunity for a healthy life.