If you live in an area with extreme winter weather, it’s a good idea for you and your family to be prepared for the worst. Even if extreme weather is rare, it could happen, and your lives could be on the line. Here are a few things to stock up on that could save your life.
Keep a hand cranked radio in your home in case the power goes out.
This device can warn you about incoming weather conditions that you should know about. Having a battery operated emergency weather radio is not a bad idea either. These radios are designed specifically to pick up emergency weather information. Make a habit of checking local new stations and online weather to stay up-to-date on weather conditions around you.
Food and Water
Always keep a week's supply worth of food for you, your family, and your pets in your home.
If you live in a rural area with few people around, a couple weeks' or even a month's supply is better. Stock up on canned, dehydrated, and no-cook food that will last a while in case you can not leave your home. (Make sure you have a can opener and a back-up can opener.) If you take medication, make sure to have enough for at least a week or two. Leave the water taps in your home slightly on so that they drip. This will help prevent them from freezing if your heat goes out. Keep bottled water with your food supply, and always have much more water than you think you will need. Aim for a gallon per day for each person. Don't forget about food and water for any pets you may have as well.
When the power goes out, you are going to want an alternative source of light.
Stock up on flashlights, battery operated lanterns, and any other battery operated light sources. Make sure to have lots of extra batteries. Avoid using candles to reduce the risk of a fire. Glow sticks are comforting, and also a source of entertainment, if you have children.
Even if your home is very well insulated, if the heat goes out you will be cold.
Always have a secondary heat source. Fireplaces, wood stoves, and gas powered heaters are all great sources of heat for your home. If you decide on using your fireplace as a secondary heat source for a winter emergency, have it cleaned and inspected before the winter begins and be sure to have plenty of wood on hand.
First Aid Kit
Always keep a well-stocked first aid kit on hand in your home.
When you use an item from the kit, replace it so that your supplies remain full. Be sure that all family members know the location of the kit and how to administer basic first aid if necessary.
Other Supplies to Consider
- Snow shovels or snow blower
- Extra blankets
- Plenty of board games
- Propane grill
Being overly prepared is always better than under prepared when it comes to any sort of weather emergency. Make sure that everyone in the house knows where the supplies are located and emergency phone numbers are clearly displayed in your home. Always stay on top of developing weather conditions and never travel when you are expecting a storm. You are safer inside your home than on the roads unless asked to evacuate by local emergency officials.