Health and safety tips for the cold, rainy months
Updated November 19, 2021 – We’ve added resources related to flooding and getting help during and after a severe weather or natural disaster (Jump to New Info). Please see our Flood Recovery Resources post for information specific to the November 13-15, 2021 flooding and mudslides in Skagit and Whatcom counties.
‘Tis the Season
Leaves are changing color and pumpkin spice in the air. It’s time to start thinking about how we’ll keep ourselves, our families, and our communities healthy when the days are shorter and the temperature drops.
We’ve gathered some of our favorite health, safety, and weather preparedness tips to help you plan for the months ahead.
General reminders, tips, and checklists
A little preparation goes a long way.
- Winter Safety Tips by Community Health of Central Washington
- Winter Vehicle Safety and Emergency Kit Planningopens PDF file by Washington State Department of Transportation
- Emergency Planning Infographic, Plan Template, and Planning for Special Needs by City of Seattle Emergency Management
Winter Preparedness During a Pandemic – Tips from FEMA:
Physical and mental wellness
Caring for the mind and body is essential year round. It may just look a little different in the fall and winter than it did in the summertime.
- Handwashing: Clean Hands Save Lives by CDC
- Colds, Flu, and COVID-19 by UW Medicine
- Hypothermia & Frostbite by CDC
- Exercise & Staying Active During Cold Weather by American Heart Association
- Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) by Healthwise
- Emotions About Another COVID-19 Winter by Mental Health America
- Coping With Holiday Stress by Healthwise
If you’re stressed, it can help to talk to someone. These resources are free and confidential:
- Call or text Washington Listens at 1-833-681-0211opens phone dialer (TTY: 206-461-2610) for support if you’re feeling sad, anxious, or stressed due to impacts of COVID-19 or wildfires.
- Call the WA Warm Line at 1-877-500-9276opens phone dialer (TTY: 711) if you’re living with emotional or mental health challenges and need support, comfort, and/or information from specially-trained volunteers with lived experience.
We can’t prevent storms or dropping temperatures, but there are steps we can take to prepare for (and sometimes avoid) common accidents and injuries.
- Fire by National Fire Protection Association
- Carbon Monoxide Poisoning by Safe Kids Worldwide
- Falls and Related Injuries by National Institute on Aging
- Food Safety by U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services
- Precautions Before, During, and After a Flood by WA Department of Health
- Returning Home After a Flood by Skagit County Public Health
- Flooded Roads: Turn Around, Don’t Drownopens PDF file by the National Weather Service
- Landslide Fact Sheetopens PDF file by the Washington State Dept. of Natural Resources
- Tsunami Readiness by the Washington Emergency Management Division
Finding help during and after a disaster
Part of being prepared for a disaster or emergency is knowing where to turn to when you need help.
- Public Health Emergency Information Line and Other Issue-Specific Contact Numbers by WA Department of Health
- How and When to Dial 9-1-1 (and when not to) by WA Department of Health
- Find Temporary Shelter by American Red Cross – NW Region
- Disaster Food Stamp Program by WA Department of Social and Health Services
- Public Resources Available After a Disasteropens PDF file by Skagit Public Health
- Flood Recovery Resources by Whatcom County Library System
Where to find other resources
Consider reaching out for connections to essentials, such as warm clothing, financial assistance, food, shelter, and other supports: