Although winter weather brings exciting fun, such as skiing or snowboarding, the threat of a severe storm in your area makes it time to batten down the hatches and take sensible precautions. Knowing exactly how to prepare for a winter storm can help keep your family safe, healthy, and happy until the sun comes out again.
Stock Up on Items Needed To Prepare for a Winter Storm
The key to getting ready for any situation life throws at you is having the right gear at hand. When the forecast alerts you a blizzard is on the way, stock up on everything required to get through it. The likelihood of the worst-case scenario occurring is small, but if you get ready for an extreme outcome, you are more than prepared for any smaller inconveniences encountered during the storm.
Food and Water
You may have the best gourmet cooking skills, but once the storm hits, you’ll be glad you have simple options that don’t require a lot of attention. Make a grocery run to buy shelf-stable items your family eats:
- Peanut butter and crackers
- Instant coffee
- Granola bars
- Canned goods
- Fruits and veggies that don’t need refrigeration
It’s even more important to stock up on water as you prepare for a winter storm. Plan for at least three gallons of drinking water for each person and pet, and fill every bucket you can find so you have a way to bathe or flush the toilet if your water gets cut off.
Medications and First Aid
You probably already keep your medicine cabinet equipped for emergencies, but if the approaching storm is bad enough to shut down the roads, you’ll rest easier knowing your family is covered for every possible event. Make sure you have at least a month’s supply of the medications your family takes regularly, including prescriptions and over-the-counter remedies. Update the first aid kit to ensure you have pain relievers, gauze, antibiotic ointment, and other crucial inventory. Check the expiration dates on any items subject to deterioration.
Warm Clothing and Blankets
When you prepare for a winter storm, just assume the power may go out at some point. Even indoor temperatures can go from toasty to frigid in no time, so everyone needs multiple layers to stay warm if outages occur. Rally the whole family to collect their coziest sweatshirts, pajamas, coats, and blankets to get ready for a cold house.
While it’s important to talk about why you’re making these preparations, it can be worrisome, especially for small children. To lighten the intensity a little, prepare as if you are going camping. A good tent can also be a buffer against the cold, so it’s smart to go ahead and set it up in the living room and have everyone store their warmest items in it.
Batteries and Firewood
The main factors affected by a potential loss of electricity are light and heat. If you have a fireplace, you not only need to know multiple ways to start a fire, but you also need to stock up on supplies to keep it going as long as necessary. Prepare for a winter storm by having extra batteries for flashlights or other essential items.
An emergency kit is essential if you end up needing to evacuate, but it is also useful if you are staying in place for an extended period of time. When you are putting together the family kit, consider everything you might need:
- Flashlights or candles
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio
- Copies of important documents
- First aid kit
- Extra blankets and coats
You also want to pack easily portable water, drinks, and food, along with tools such as a can opener needed to open them. Don’t forget your pets and their needs as well.
Winterize Your Home and Car
During most storms, you only lose power for a little bit, if at all, and you simply get to enjoy some extra family time while you wait for the worst of the storm to pass. To help everything go smoothly in these emergencies, you must winterize your home each fall.
Before the first freeze of the season hits, make sure your home is well-insulated, particularly the attic and any pipes near exterior walls. To properly prepare for a winter storm, look for cracks, holes, or other vulnerable places around windows and doors. Add extra caulk or weather stripping as needed to keep out strong gusts.
Check all the fluid levels in your vehicle before the storm hits. Your car’s battery power may diminish in extremely cold temperatures so make sure it’s in top shape to ensure optimal performance. Keep a bin in the trunk packed with emergency supplies in case you get stuck somewhere:
- First aid kit
- Road flares
Check on Your Neighbors
It’s great to know you and your family have everything you need to weather the impending storm, but it’s also a good idea to check on your neighbors, especially if they are elderly or live alone. If they experience limited mobility or don’t have family members living nearby, they may not be able to prepare for an emergency. This is where you come in.
Ask if there is anything they need at the store to prepare for a winter storm or offer to take them with you. Consider inviting them to come to your house if the weather damages their home and adjust your food and water supplies to allow for last-minute additions. The kindness you extend to those around you when the forecast is bleak can help them get through a difficult time.
Prepare for a Winter Storm To Safeguard Your Family
At Rugged Standard, we strive to provide the knowledge and tools every man needs to help himself and his family thrive, and that includes knowing exactly how to prepare for a winter storm. Contact us if you have any questions, comments, or other feedback, or if you just want to share stories or pictures of how these tips have helped. We’d love to hear from you.