You can really get left out in the cold if you fail to prepare for a winter storm. What steps do you need to take to make sure you’ve got everything your family needs to stay safe? If you’ve read my other pieces on general survival and the rule of three’s, this should sound a little familiar.
The most obvious problem you could run in to when you prepare for a winter storm is staying warm. As long as you don’t lose power, this is a non-issue. Unless you live in an area that doesn’t normally get cold, your heating system will support you through the storm.
What you need to prepare for is if you lose power. If you have natural gas in your home, you’re in luck. Gas stoves and fireplaces can still be used without electricity, although you may need matches or a lighter to get them going. If you do not have gas heat, staying warm will require a little more preparation. It’s always a good idea to have chemical heaters (Hot Hands and similar brands) on hand. They’re easy, convenient, and can last for hours. You should always have plenty of coats and blankets on hand, enough for all members of your family. Speaking of your family, there’s quite a bit more you can do to secure them if you lose power in a winter storm.
Locking Down To Prepare for a Winter Storm
Without power, conservation of heat becomes the name of the game. If possible, gather your family in one room in the house for the duration of the storm. Camp out in the living room with plenty of blankets. If necessary, you can seal up windows and even door ways to conserve heat. The only caveat being that you should make sure you don’t seal it up to well, ventilation is still important for any living space!
In the leadup to bad weather, many people will rush the grocery store to prepare for a winter storm. If you keep up going prep habits, you should already have at least a few days worth of food on hand. If not, get ready to head into the fray for your French toast ingredient staples! (Bread, eggs, and milk).
As far as water is concerned, it’s always a good idea to have a pack or two of water bottles in the house for emergencies. If your pipes freeze, you may rely on this water to stay hydrated. In general, it’s a good idea to shore up all your stores. Purchase bottled water, but also take steps to insulate your pipes and prevent that freezing in your own home.
Finally, make sure your prescriptions are up to date. Consider filling them a little early if they’ll be due when the blizzard is set to roll in.
Prepare Your Car For A Winter Storm
If you know a winter storm is headed, gas up. It’s good prep sense to keep your vehicles in good shape. Hopefully your oil, tires, and other maintenance items are up to date. Ideally, you should also have a small bug out bag of some sort in any of your vehicles as well. Leaving your home during a winter storms can be dangerous. If you have to do it, make sure you do it smart.
Power and Communication
If you lose power, you may just lose your lifeline to the outside world. You should always have a weather radio and some spare batteries around to keep up to date on announcements from the weather service.
Additionally you may find that your family and even you have come to rely on electronics for entertainment. It’s also a good idea to keep some books, board games, and other non-electric items with you. It’s important to stay cool and collected during an emergency.
Your Headspace When You Prepare for a Winter Storm
If you’ve been through an emergency situation, you’ll find that it can be hard to keep your cool. But it also may be the most important thing you do. As long as you’re adequately prepared, you have nothing to worry about, and you can stay calm if the worst comes to pass.