(NEW YORK) -- A winter storm -- the likes of which forecasters say hasn't been seen in the Midwest in years -- is expected to pack a potentially dangerous punch of sleet, snow, ice and wind.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency said that over the next few days as the storm moves from the middle of the country to the East Coast it could have an impact on a total of 100 million Americans.
Don't be caught unprepared. Twenty-five percent of all winter-related fatalities occur because people out in the storm are caught off-guard, according to the National Weather Service.
Here are some winter storm tips from the NWS so you can stay prepared:
-- Use caution and be aware of hazardous driving conditions. Roads will be snow covered and dangerous. People are encouraged to use discretion and not go out unless it is absolutely necessary. Traffic lights may be out and roads will be congested.
-- During snow storm conditions, snow plows are considered emergency vehicles and should be given the right of way. Listen to the weather reports and plan accordingly.
-- Have an emergency supply kit in the vehicle. A fully charged mobile phone, charger, spare batteries, blanket or sleeping bags, extra food and water are essential.
-- Keep the gas tank as full as possible. If stranded, run the car periodically to preserve fuel and stay with the car.
-- Make sure someone knows your route and timetable.
-- Major concerns for individuals are loss of heat, power, and telephone service. Individuals and families should have food and water, flashlights and batteries, first aid supplies and a battery operated radio in their disaster kit.
-- Emergency 911 phone system should be limited to life-threatening situations only.
-- Prepare your home for a power outage. If you have to leave your home and seek shelter, remember to bring your medications and sleeping gear such as blankets and sleeping bags. Most of these items will not be provided by the shelter or will be in short supply.
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