The way the news is talking it’s like a DOOMSDAY storm is moving into our area this week so I wanted to put together a list of what YOU can and should do to be prepared! Good luck, and let’s hope it’s not as bad as the weather channel is predicting! But remember, it’s better to know it and not need it, then to need it and not know it!
- A shovel. Even if you live in an apartment you should own a shovel as you may need to dig yourself out before your ground crew gets in, and they are unlikely to dig out your car.
- Flashlights. Make sure you have good quality flashlights and lamps with fresh batteries. Also purchase “Self Powered Flashlights” and “Self Powered Radios”. Some models will also charge your cell phone.
- Food. Make sure you have enough non-perishable food to last a few days. Even if your budget is tight you should make sure to keep extra food in the house. Canned and powdered foods are good for long-term storage.
- A Can Opener. Make sure to have a good old-fashioned manual can opener.
- Blankets and Warm Clothing. You may already have these items, but remember you will need enough blankets to keep you warm without any heat and in adverse conditions.
- A Camping Stove or Barbeque Grill. A gas powered camping stove is a wise investment for any emergency situation. If you have an electric stove in the kitchen a camp stove is almost a necessity. Be sure you use it with proper ventilation, and have plenty of backup fuel.
- Matches to light your gas range/camping stove/candles. Do not rely on lighters that can run out of fuel or break down all too easily.
- A Battery Operated Radio. This way you can get news without wall power. Make sure the batteries are good. It is also possible to buy a motion charging radio, as you can with a flashlight.
- Prescription medications. Like food, it is always wise to have enough to last you a few days.
- Anything else vital to your household. You should always have ample supplies of items like diapers, formula, batteries, and so on before the storm hits.
- A wall phone with a cord, or a portable cellphone charger. Cordless home phones will not work when the power is out. Many states require at least one wall plugged phone, which receives power from the telephone connection, in all households.
Winterize your home and any other buildings you or your family will use during a storm. Insulate walls and attics, caulk and weather-strip doors and windows, and installing storm windows or cover windows with plastic.
- Clear rain gutters and repair roof leaks in order to avoid clogging and flooding.
- Cut away tree branches that could fall on a house or other structure during a storm.
- If necessary hire a contractor to check the structural strength of the roof. Make sure your roof can sustain the unusually heavy weight of snow – or water.
- Insulate pipes with insulation and allow faucets to drip a little during cold weather to avoid freezing.
Anticipate a long power outage. By preparing you can make a power outage bearable.
Decide what to do with the Food in your freezer and refrigerator. If the power will not be out long leave the doors closed, keeping the air inside, and your food will most likely be fine. If it seems like it will be a while (one or more days) move the food. The nice thing about a winter storm is there is plenty of cold to store your food. Frozen items can be left outside (keep an eye on the temperature) and refrigerated items left in an enclosed porch or other cold area. Eat perishable foods first, keeping canned goods for more lengthy outages.
Keep tabs on your family members. Make sure you know where everyone in your family is and that they have proper shelter before the storm hits.
Be aware of approaching storms. Watch weather reports, listen to emergency radios, and actually watch the little black bands at the top of your TV screen warning you about storms. This will tell you when you need to be prepared for the storm.
Keep Warm to survive the storm. When the storm hits, already have a fire or furnace running to keep you warm if this is feasible. Keep blankets ready, and above all, stay warm. Drink hot liquids and eat hot foods.
Have Entertainment Bored people can become anxious, panicky, or plain irritable, and this can sometimes lead to poor decision-making during a winter storm. Have entertainment such as books, board games, cards, crafts, and so on in the house. It’s entirely possible to even enjoy a power outage!