Stay Warm and Prepared during the Winter Season
Though winter storms are slowly brewing, it is never too early to prepare for the harsh conditions they bring. Benefits.gov wants to help you and your family stay ahead of the forecast and make informed decisions when dealing with the weather. To help you get started, here are some quick tips:

  • Place rock salt or more environmentally safe products to melt ice on walkways
  • Place sand on driveway and walkways to improve traction
  • Make sure to have shovels and other snow removal equipment (Consider your health and safety before shoveling snow or operating snow removal equipment)
  • Purchase adequate clothing and blankets to keep warm
  • Make a family communication plan - your family may not always be together when disaster strikes. With a plan you may communicate ways to stay in touch and get back together.

Check out Ready.gov for more helpful information on preparing your family and home for extreme cold and winter storms.

You can also help to make your home as energy efficient as possible with the Department of Energy's (DOE) Weatherization Assistance Program for Low-Income Persons, resulting in lower energy bills in the future.

If you still need some extra assistance with payments on your heating bills, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) offers a Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) to help families pay for increasing energy and fuel costs. Each state offers their own version of LIHEAP, so you should find out whether you are eligible to receive LIHEAP benefits by contacting your state or tribal LIHEAP office. Information about how to contact each office can be obtained on the HHS website.

Stay warm this winter and find out if you might be eligible for these, or any of the more than 1,000 other benefits on our site, click "Start Benefit Finder" on the homepage to use our confidential Benefit Finder.