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While less common than windstorms, snow events do occur in Island County. Some years, such as 2019, experienced abnormal conditions resulting in significant snowfall for the region including Camano and Whidbey Island. Winter storms often disrupt utility services, close local businesses and negatively impact road conditions. 

Cold and below-freezing temperatures can occur without snowfall and can cause serious or even life-threatening health problems if an individual is exposed to the elements without proper clothing or shelter. 

Winter Weather Preparedness


  • Weatherproof your home. This can include using weather strips for doors and windows, installing thermal-pane window covers, repairing leaks in your roof, scheduling inspections for your fireplace and heater, etc.
  • Install and maintain carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors in your home.
  • Know how to use and maintain your generator.
    • Identify a backup power source for important medical equipment that requires electricity.
  • Prepare your vehicle for winter weather, including a vehicle preparedness kit. 
  • Monitor the weather in your area for potential winter weather events and storms.


  • Be ready to shelter in your home for several days. Road conditions may not be safe to travel on except for emergencies. 
  • Never bring in a gas stove to heat your home. 
    • Never use a generator indoors or in a garage or carport.
    • Never use a propane or charcoal grill for heating your home or for cooking indoors.
  • Monitor vulnerable populations for signs of hypothermia and frostbite (Vulnerable populations include infants, older adults, and individuals with underlying health conditions).

Winter Vehicle Preparedness

Have an emergency plan and supplies in the event of inclement winter weather or if you are planning to travel across mountain passes. Make sure to have the following items in your vehicle kit:

  • Cell phone, charger, external battery charger
  • Battery-powered radio with extra batteries
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Warm clothing including hats, coats, blankets, etc.
  • Windshield scraper
  • Shovel
  • Food and water
  • First-aid kit
  • Tire chains (and know how to put them on your vehicle)
  • Tire repair kit
  • Sand or cat litter (for traction)
  • Jumper cables
  • Reflectors, flares, flags
  • Physical road maps