Apache and Sitgreaves National Forests - Conditions

Current Conditions - Winter Preparedness Safety Tips


  • Store drinking water, first aid kit, canned/no-cook food, non-electric can opener, radio, flashlight and extra batteries where you can get them easily, even in the dark.
  • Keep cars and other vehicles fueled and in good repair, with a winter emergency kit in each.
  • Get a NOAA Weather Radio to monitor severe weather.
  • Know how the public is warned (siren, radio, TV, etc.) and the warning terms for each kind of disaster in your community; e.g.:
    • "winter storm watch" --- Be alert, a storm is likely
    • "winter storm warning" --- Take action, the storm is in or entering the area
    • "blizzard warning" --- Snow and strong winds combined will produce blinding snow, near zero visibility, deep drifts, and life-threatening wind chill--seek refuge immediately!
    • "winter weather advisory" --- Winter weather conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences and may be hazardous, especially to motorists
    • "frost/freeze warning" --- Below freezing temperatures are expected and may cause damage to plants, crops, or fruit trees
    • "flash flood or flood watch" --- Be alert to signs of flash flooding and be ready to evacuate on a moment's notice
    • "flash flood warning" --- A flash flood is imminent--act quickly to save yourself because you may have only seconds
    • "flood warning" --- Flooding has been reported or is imminent--take necessary precautions at once
  • Know safe routes from home, work and school to high ground.
  • Know how to contact other household members through a common out-of-state contact in the event you and have to evacuate and become separated.
  • Know how to turn off gas, electric power and water before evacuating.
  • Know ahead of time what you should do to help elderly or disabled friends, neighbors or employees.
  • Keep plywood, plastic sheeting, lumber, sandbags and hand tools on hand and accessible.
  • Winterize your house, barn, shed or any other structure that may provide shelter for your family, neighbors, livestock or equipment. Install storm shutters, doors and windows; clear rain gutters; repair roof leaks; and check the structural ability of the roof to sustain unusually heavy weight from the accumulation of snow--or water, if drains on flat roofs do not work.
  • If you think you might want to volunteer in case of a disaster, now is the time to let voluntary organizations or the emergency services office know--beforehand.


  • Monitor your NOAA Weather Radio or keep a local radio and/or TV station on for information and emergency instructions.
  • Have your emergency survival kit ready to go if told to evacuate.
  • If you go outside for any reason, dress for the season and expected conditions:
    For cold weather, wear several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing. Outer garments should be tightly woven and water-repellent. Mittens are warmer than gloves. Wear a hat. Cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs from extremely cold air. Wear sturdy, waterproof boots in snow or flooding conditions.
  • If advised to evacuate, tell others where you are going, turn off utilities if told to, then leave immediately, following routes designated by local officials.


  • Avoid areas subject to sudden flooding.
  • Do not try to walk across running water more than 6 inches deep; even 6 inches of rapidly running water can sweep you off your feet.
  • Do not drive into flooded areas. If your car stalls, abandon it immediately--if you can--and seek higher ground.