Winter storms often bring power outages and people being somewhat trapped in their homes. Let’s face it – the National Weather Service doesn’t always get it right. When you hear of a winter storm brewing, it is a good idea to prepare for it. One way to prepare is by creating a snow emergency kit. Read on to learn how to do this and what to put in it.
How to Put Together a Snow Emergency Kit for the Home
Canned and boxed foods do not go bad very fast and may become your only food during a winter emergency, so stock up on them! Some meats are sold in cans as well as vegetables and fruits. Boxed items could include granola/energy bars and, of course, cereal.
Dry cereal is better than nothing. You might want to consider getting a small portable grill or camping cookstove. These items run on propane or charcoal, so you will also want to stock up on whatever the grill/stove needs.
Water for your snow emergency kit
Keep plenty of fresh bottled water for emergencies at all times. It is so important to keep yourself and family members hydrated all the time, and especially during emergencies.
During the winter months, people do not always think about having drinking water at home. The truth is during a winter storm; pipes can freeze and burst, leaving you with no running water. Being stuck at home in a blizzard, for example, without running water, can become a real issue. Water is also necessary for flushing toilets and cooking.
It is wise to stock up on all sizes of batteries that your items need before winter weather begins. Check batteries for the date and rotate out older batteries for immediate use and retain the fresh batteries for your emergency kit. The last thing you want is to be caught in a power outage with dead batteries and useless flashlights and other essential battery-operated items.
Keep a flashlight for each person in your family, in your emergency kit. Flashlights come in handy to see within the dark and can also provide entertainment!
Keep plenty of warm blankets in your home kit. This way, you do not have to scramble to find them after the storm hits or when the power goes out. Blankets will help keep you warm as well as offer a little bit of comfort to snuggle up while waiting out the storm.
Have plenty of warm clothing like sweatshirts, heavy socks, coats, and thermal underwear. Wearing thermal pants and shirts underclothing can help you retain your body heat.
No snow emergency kit would be complete without these. Make sure to have plenty of candles and heatproof holders on hand in case the power goes out. Candlelight is better than being stuck in the dark at night!
A word of warning: never leave a candle burning unattended, so snuff them out before going to bed. Candles do put off a little bit of heat, not enough to heat a room, but enough to keep your hands warm. The beautiful thing about candlelight is that it is somewhat calming, and that can be so important during a bad storm.
Source of heat
It is a good idea to try and find a couple of battery-operated heaters to heat the main rooms people occupy during the storm. Go online or to a local store and see what they have to offer.
Some space heaters have battery backup, and some are solely powered by batteries or by an electrical cord, so pay attention to what you are buying. Temperatures can drop drastically indoors when the power goes out, so having a reliable heat source can be a lifesaver! One more thing to keep in your kit is matches, kitchen matches come in large boxes and have a dozen practical uses.
This is a must for any emergency kit. During severe storms, people can panic and/or go into shock, plus if the electricity goes out, accidents can happen while moving around in the dark.
It is always important to include these and not just in your snow emergency kit! This includes medication, insulin (if applicable), baby food, diapers, toiletries, and anything else that is necessary during a typical day.
The reason you want to make sure you have these items because once the storm hits, you may not be able to get out to get them. For example, the medication that was prescribed by a doctor is vital to have, and during a storm, you probably will not be able to get it.
Another essential item to keep for emergency use is a phone that does not require electricity (cordless house phones use electricity for the base). If you choose to have an emergency cell phone, be sure to keep the battery charged and have a fully charged spare.
No one likes to think about the worst-case scenarios during the winter. People tend to assume they will be just fine as long as they are at home when a winter storm hits their area. To a degree, it is better to be at home instead of out in the blowing snow, but you must prepare at home for power outages or for being stuck indoors for days at a time. As the saying goes, “better safe than sorry.”