Weathering the Storm: BLIZZARDS/SNOW
The threat of intense or massive snowfall always sends a wave of panic throughout our community. With just a little planning, you will reduce your worries and reduce your need to hit the crowded stores every time threatening weather is forecasted.
Obviously being entirely prepared all at once can be costly, but you can start small with the most important items and add as you go.
- HEAT – Have an alternate heat source ready.
- If your home has a fireplace or wood stove, make sure the chimney/flue is clean and ready to operate. Flues that haven’t been used in months or years can be potentially dangerous.
- Some opt for propane or kerosene heaters. If you do, remember that if not properly ventilated, the gases and/or fumes will kill you. Be careful.
- Some opt to use a generator and an electric space heater.
- LIGHT/ELECTRICITY – Have a generator.
- If you already have a generator, make sure you have fresh fuel. Do NOT store it indoors near any heat or ignition sources (flames).
- If you don’t have a generator, do your homework before you buy. There are many varieties and configurations out there. You get what you pay for.
- Keep plenty of smaller light sources on hand like battery operated flashlights or candles.
- Keep an alternate charging source charged at all times for cell phones and other electronic devices.
- FOOD – Always maintain a supply of food to feed your family.
- Short Term Foods – Items like canned soup, peanut butter/jelly/crackers, protein bars, canned fruit.
- Long Term Foods – Items like Rice, Beans, canned vegetables, canned meat
Ultra Long Term Foods – Freeze dried foods and other commercially available ‘kits’ like MRE’s.
- Staples – Flour, salt, sugar, honey, baking soda, powdered milk, vinegar, yeast
- Do you have an alternate way to cook your food in the event utilities are interrupted? A gas grill or camp stove maybe?
- WATER – If your water supply should stop, you have to make sure to have an adequate store of water available. The absolute minimal amount of water a person needs on a daily basis is ONE gallon. That’s a half gallon for cooking and basic hydration and a half gallon for hygiene. So, if you have a family of four, and want to have enough water on hand for two weeks, that’s 56 gallons of water.
HYGIENE AND FIRST AID –
- HYGIENE – Do you have plenty of hygiene items like: shampoo, soap, toothpaste, razors, etc?
- FIRST AID – Obviously, the more supplies the better, but what about some basic first aid items such as: bandages, alcohol and hyrogen peroxide, pain relievers, wraps for sprains, etc.
WINTERIZE YOUR HOME
- Disconnect all hoses and close any openings in crawl spaces to protect your plumbing from freezing.
- Check on the condition of your snow and ice removal tools.
- Do you have salt for your driveway? This is one of the FIRST items to disappear from the shelves at your store. Beat the rush and buy some now.
- Do you have plenty of flashlights and fresh batteries?
WINTERIZE YOUR CAR
- How old is your battery?
- Do you have windshield deicer handy?
- Check your car’s tire treads.
- Some people keep kitty litter or other grit available in the event they get stuck or need some added traction for the tires.
- Use an oil viscosity that is appropriate for winter months.
- Make sure your car’s cooling system is well-prepared and rated for low temperatures.
SURVIVAL KIT FOR YOUR CAR.
Pretend you were stranded somewhere in your car for several days. What would you want or need in the way of Food, Water, First Aid, Blankets, Winter Clothing, a Means of Communication in the event your cell phone dies, etc?
Keep a kit of those items in your car at all times.
This is not a comprehensive list by any means. These are just a short list of ideas to get you thinking and hopefully started. Each person or family is going to be a little different, but the basics are the same. You need food, water, and shelter. The internet is FULL of other ideas and we recommend you search there to build your own emergency solutions.
Be safe out there!
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