How To Prepare For A Winter Storm
Winter storms can bring cold temperatures, power failures, loss of communication services, and icy roads. To keep yourself and your loved ones safe, you should know how to prepare your home and your car before a winter storm hits.
Prepare Your Home
- Snow Shovel
- Flashlights/Battery-Powered Lamps
- Non-Perishable Foods
- Bottled Water
- Blankets & Warm Clothing
- First Aid Kit
- Portable Generator
- Portable Heater
Tip 1: Get a snow shovel.
Get a quality snow shovel so you can dig yourself out if need be. You may also need to shovel to dig your car out once the storm is over. Consider getting a small snow shovel to dig snow out of smaller corners.
Tip 2: Test flashlights and battery-powered lamps.
Put fresh batteries in your lamps and flashlights if a storm is coming. Go for a model that can power your cell phone if you can.
Tip 3: Stock up on candles and holders.
In case your flashlight suddenly gives out or you run out of batteries, you can light your home the old-fashioned way.
- LED candles and lanterns are a safer alternative to traditional candles.
- Fire from candles during a blackout is a real risk, especially with small children. If you use candles, put them in safe holders. Keep them away from anything flammable never leave them unattended; and put them out before going to bed.
Tip 4: Fill some shelves with non-perishable food.
Stock up on canned soups and vegetables, powdered food, and grains like rice and pasta. Make sure you have enough to last your family at least three or four days. Find a hand-operated can-opener too.
- If you drink coffee, consider methods that do not require electricity: French press style, for example, or instant coffee. Your drip coffee pot or Keurig may not work.
- If you have pets, be sure to stock up on pet food as well.
Tip 5: Fill up some containers of water.
If you're worried about the pipes freezing, stock up on some water. You can buy it bottled – either in small bottles or in gallon jars. You can also simply recycle a few gallon jugs or purchase some, then fill them from the tap.
- Consider drinking water and cooking use. You may need more than you think when it comes to not only drinking, but cooking as well.
- Fill up your bathtub, if you have one.
- You may need water for flushing the toilet. Water can be manually added to the tank after a flush.
Tip 6: Gather blankets and warm clothing.
You may already have these items, but remember you will need enough blankets to keep you warm without any heat and in adverse conditions. Consider purchasing mittens, thick woolen socks, and a hooded sweatshirt, if you don't already own these items.>
Tip 7: Locate your first aid kit.
You never know what kind of injuries or emergencies will happen when the lights go out. Buy a first aid kit if you don't have one, and familiarize yourself with the contents.
- Check through your kit to make sure you have sterile bandages, disinfectant, antibiotic ointment, and over-the-counter painkillers available.
Tip 8: Consider buying a portable heater.
A gas-powered heater is a wise investment for any emergency situation.
Tip 9: Consider investing in a generator.
If the power frequently goes out where you live, consider getting a portable or stationary electrical generator.
- Run the generator outdoors. Do not run it in your house or garage.
- Plug equipment directly into the generator. Do not use your home's electrical system while the power is out.
Create An Emergency Car Kit
It is best to avoid traveling, but if travel is necessary, keep the following in your car:
- Cell phone, portable charger, and extra batteries
- Items to stay warm such as extra hats, coats, mittens, and blankets
- Windshield scraper
- Battery-powered radio with extra batteries
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- Water and snack food
- First aid kit with any necessary medications and a pocket knife
- Tow chains or rope
- Tire chains
- Canned compressed air with sealant for emergency tire repair
- Cat litter or sand to help tires get traction, or road salt to melt ice
- Booster cables with fully charged battery or jumper cables
- Hazard or other reflectors
- Bright colored flag or help signs, emergency distress flag, and/or emergency flares
- Road maps
- Waterproof matches and a can to melt snow for water