Winter is Unpredictable - Benefits.gov Wants You to Be Prepared
As many parts of the country have already experienced this year, winter can be unpredictable. That's just one reason why Benefits.gov wants you, your family and your business to be well prepared for the worst that winter can deliver.

Preparing Your Home:
  • When you're winterizing your home, don't forget to also winterize your vehicle. Check the oil, battery, windshield wipers, heater, defroster, lights, brakes and antifreeze levels. You'll also want to make sure that you have a shovel, flashlight, water, matches, blankets, emergency flares, and other essential items in your vehicle emergency kit.
  • Install carbon monoxide detectors in central locations in your home. Never use gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices, such as grills or camp stoves, inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area. Even when using these devices outside, place them away from the doors, windows and vents of your home to prevent carbon monoxide from coming inside.
  • Explore the Winter Storms & Extreme Cold page on Ready.gov and the Winter Storm page on DisasterAssistance.gov for more tips and helpful resources on what to do before, during and after winter storms or extreme cold.

Preparing Your Business:
  • Create a Preparedness Program for your business. Ready.gov can help guide you through the five steps of developing a Preparedness Program.
  • If you already have a Preparedness Program, the Red Cross Ready Rating Program is a free, self-paced program designed to help businesses, organizations and schools become better prepared for emergencies. Members complete a 123-point self-assessment of their level of preparedness, have access to tips and best practices information, and commit to improving their score each year to maintain membership.
  • If your business sustains physical damage in a disaster and is located in a disaster declared county, the Business Physical Disaster Loans program may provide your private, non-profit organization or business of any size with up to $2 million to repair or replace real property, machinery, equipment, fixtures, and inventory, or to make leasehold improvements.

Winter storms can cause severe damage from ice, strong winds and heavy snow. If you are impacted by a Presidentially declared disaster this winter, DisasterAssistance.gov can help you find and apply for the disaster assistance you may need.

Visit Benefits.gov and use our simple and confidential Benefit Finder to find out which benefits you may be eligible to receive from more than 1,000 Federal and state benefits sponsored by 17 Federal agencies. You can also browse related programs by selecting "Disaster Relief", "Energy Assistance", or "Housing" on the Browse by Category page.