Top Items You Need to Prepare for Winter Storms

Friday, November 12, 2021

The time to prepare for winter storm season - and all other emergencies, for that matter - is before disaster strikes. Stocking up on emergency supplies like food, water, and first aid items, as well as supplies for communication and heating, helps ensure you'll remain safe and as comfortable as possible during the winter storm season. Whether you usually only experience light snow a few times a year or you expect to be hit by a heavy blizzard several times, we've come up with a list of the top items you need to prepare for winter weather and its freezing rain or heavy snow.

Winter Storm Disaster Preparedness

When you live in areas that frequently experience blizzards, it's important to know what different winter storm advisories mean. Winter Storm Outlook means storm conditions are possible within the next 2 to 5 days. Winter Weather Advisory means the weather is not life threatening, but it's expected to cause significant inconveniences. A Winter Storm Watch means storm conditions are possible within 12 to 48 hours. A Winter Storm Warning should not be ignored: severe winter conditions have begun or will begin within 24 hours. Anyone in the area of a winter storm warning should get to safety as soon as possible. Severe winter weather is not to be taken lightly.

Blizzard Survival Kit

Food and Water

Ideally you should put together a winter survival kit for your home, office, and car. The most basic supplies necessary include a 3-day supply of water (one gallon per person, per day) and a 3-day supply of food. If you can, stock up on even more long-term, non-perishable food in case you're stuck for more than 3 days. You should leave your taps slightly open so they continuously drip and don't freeze. If your pipes freeze or break, you’ll need your emergency water. In extreme cases, snow can be melted for water - however, even boiling the water won’t get rid of certain chemicals that are found in snow.

Heating Supplies

Next, you'll need quality heating equipment and sufficient fuel. In a cold weather power outage, you'll be forced to rely on different heating methods. Wood or gas fireplaces and a portable space heater are both great options. Heat packs are easy to use and do well at keeping your hands warm, but they aren’t ideal for keeping you warm throughout the storms. Even though flashlights and candles aren’t good for heat, they’re perfect for light sources, so be sure to stock up on them, too. Don't forget the extra batteries, and remember to keep a close eye on your candles! In freezing temperatures, it's important to retain body heat to ward off frostbite and hypothermia. So during a winter storm warning, make sure you have access to warm clothing.

Carbon Monoxide Dangers

You should never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, kerosene heater, natural gas, or charcoal burning devices that produce carbon monoxide inside. If you don't already have them, it's a good idea to install carbon monoxide alarms on each level of your home. If your CO alarm does sound, you need to move to an open door or window, or better yet go outside if you can, call for help, and wait for emergency personnel to arrive. Carbon monoxide can be dangerous and lead to deadly carbon monoxide poisoning.

First Aid Supplies

For easy preparation, you can buy a pre-prepared home emergency kit, office emergency kit, and even school emergency kit that include basic first aid supplies. If you want to prepare your own kit, make sure you stock up on essential items like bandages and gauze, disinfectant, antibiotic ointment, over-the-counter painkillers, and any prescription medication you need regularly.

Communication Supplies

When the power goes out, the cell phone reception goes down, and you're stuck inside, it's important to be able to keep up with what's happening around you. A solar or battery powered radio is an ideal way to hear weather updates and keep up with the news.

Additional Items

A snow shovel is always helpful when the snow gets high, and rock salt is perfect for melting ice on walkways. If you have a baby or a pet, make sure you stock up on extra food and supplies for them too. If you have older kids, make sure you have board games or some other forms of entertainment that don't require power. Severe winter storms can cause a lot of trouble, from icy roads to frozen pipes and power outages. But with the right preparation, you can keep you and your family safe. To learn more about winter storm preparation and how to get prepared, visit us at SOS Survival Products.