Inclement Weather

High Wind Ready

High winds occur frequently in New Mexico. Know the risks that you and your community face from high winds, and take steps to prepare.

  • Prepare for strong winds.
    • Trim tree branches away from your home and power lines.
    • Secure loose items such as trampolines, patio furniture, and trash cans.
    • Charge the batteries of essential items such as cell phones.
  • Take shelter inside a sturdy building and move to an interior room or basement when necessary
  • If shelter is not available, find a place that will block blowing or falling debris, trees, or powerlines.

When high winds cause dust storms or wildfires:

  • Get inside. Close all windows and turn off any air conditioning units.
  • If you are in an area at risk for wildfires, make sure you and your family are wildfire ready.
  • If a dust storm occurs while you are driving, pull off the road as far as you can, turn off your lights and set the emergency brake. Keep your foot off the brake pedal.
    • If you cannot pull off the road, hold the steering wheel with both hands, slow down, and honk the horn occasionally. Use the painted centerline to guide you and pull off the road as soon as possible.

Learn more about being prepared for high winds

Winter Ready 

Know the risks that you and your community face in the winter, and take steps to prepare. 

  • Prevent fires caused by heating mechanisms.  
    • Keep anything that can burn at least three feet from all heat sources including fireplaces, wood stoves, radiators, portable heaters or candles.
    • Never use an oven to heat your home.
    • Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected each year by a professional.
    • Visit the U.S. Fire Administration Home Fires page to learn about how to prepare for and prevent home fires including tips for individuals with disabilities and older adults
  • Prepare for power outages.
    • Keep freezers and refrigerators closed. Throw away any food that has been exposed to temperatures 40 degrees or higher for two hours or more, or that has an unusual odor, color or texture.
    • If you use a generator, ONLY use it outdoors and away from windows.
    • Do not use a gas stove or oven to heat your home.
    • Disconnect appliances and electronics to avoid damage from electrical surges.
    • Have alternate plans for refrigerating medicines or using power-dependent medical devices.
  • Travel safely.
    • Check the local forecast and road conditions before you head out. 
    • Make sure your vehicle is in good working condition before you travel.
    • Keep your gas tank as full as you can. A full tank will also keep the fuel line from freezing.
    • When driving, increase your following distance from 3-4 seconds to 5-6 seconds. It takes longer to slow down and stop on icy roads.
    • Every vehicle should have an emergency supply kit in the trunk. Kits should be checked every six months and expired items should be replaced regularly.
    • Keep family and emergency phone numbers, including your auto insurance provider and a towing company in your phone.
    • Consider keeping a power bank for your phone in your car in case your car loses power.
    • If stranded, run the engine for about 10 minutes per hour to run the heater and charge your cellphone. Open a window slightly to let fresh air in and avoid carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.

Learn more about being #WinterReady

Summer Ready

Know the risks that you and your community face from extreme heat in the summer, and take steps to prepare. 

  • Get inside a space with air conditioning. Public spaces like libraries, museums, or shopping malls can provide a low-cost break from the heat. 
  • Never leave kids or pets in a hot vehicle. Your car temperature can rise up to 20 degrees in 10 minutes. 
  • Check on family, friends or neighbors who may not have air conditioning and who spend much of their time alone. 
  • Utilize awnings or curtains over windows to keep heat from building up in your home. 

Learn more about being #SummerReady

Lightning and Thunderstorms 

Thunderstorms can occur year-round and bring high wind, flash flooding, and dangerous lightning with them. Know the risks you and your community face from these storms, and take steps to prepare. 

  • Pay attention to alerts and warnings 
  • Go inside. Take shelter in a building or car with a roof. 
  • Avoid using electronic devices connected to outlets and running water

Learn more about being ready for lightning and thunderstorms