Winter is fast approaching, and there’s already snow on the ground in many places. It’s time to make those last-minute winter preps to make sure you are ready for a cold-weather emergency.
Has anyone wondered why bread and milk disappear when a winter storm is forecasted? Do people really drink that much milk and eat that much bread? Either way, for whatever reason, perhaps because they are “staples” those items tend to disappear when a storm hits. Knowing that, if you love bread, have the items on hand to make your own. As far as milk goes, I can’t help. My family doesn’t like milk to begin with and I don’t cook with it because my daughter has a milk protein allergy. We use almond, coconut, and oat milk, all of which have a much longer refrigerator life than cow’s milk anyway.
Besides having supplies to make bread, make sure you do the following to prepare your car and home for a winter emergency:
- Protect Your House – Make sure you can find your shovel, scraper, broom, or anything else you use to clear snow from your property or vehicle. Check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to be sure that they and their batteries are working correctly. If you lose power, candles and emergency heaters can increase the risk of fire and excess carbon monoxide. Prepare for the extreme cold by applying weather stripping or tape plastic sheeting to your windows to keep out the chill. Do your best to prevent pipes from freezing by opening cupboard doors below sinks, and turning on taps often, or leaving them running at a trickle. Mitigate ice damage by cleaning out your gutters (if you’re able) so water doesn’t get trapped in them and freeze, leading to ice dams and potential leaks.
- Prepare for Power Outages – It is always possible that a winter storm will knock out power. Make sure you have flashlights, extra batteries, candles and matches, and a battery-powered or hand-crank radio. A solar charger for your phone could be an option as well. Here are some basic tips for staying warm during winter power outages. If you have a wood-burning fireplace, have an ample supply of dry firewood ready. Here is a list of some of the best types of wood to warm a home.
- Get Supplies – Water will be necessary! Have at least one gallon per person per day and more if you have pets. If you have a hunch the power could be out for a long period of time, consider how you will filter water from a lake or a stream, or how to melt ice and snow. You will also need food that won’t need refrigeration. Frozen meals won’t do you much good if your power goes out. Canned goods such as veggies and soups are better options. Have some extra cash on hand to buy or barter with if there’s no power and stock up on non-food essentials, like toilet paper and tissues. If you are low on these items, make sure you get them replaced before there’s word of an impending storm. You should also have a first aid kit and emergency supplies and any prescription medications you might need. Make sure you have enough winter clothes, like snow boots, hats, and gloves, ready to be worn and extra blankets.
- Put a Survival Kit in Your Vehicle – Before heading out into a storm, make sure your car is stocked with emergency supplies. Put everything in a bag or backpack and keep it in your car all winter long, just in case. You will want to add a phone charger, warm blankets, some snacks, and several bottles of water. Click here for more information on having a vehicle preparedness kit. If you become stranded, remain in your vehicle unless you know there’s a building very close to you that you can enter. Your survival ba will come in handy here.
- Brush Up On Your Winter Driving Skills – If you are new to driving in the snow or haven’t done so in a long time, make sure you know what to expect if you leave your house.
One additional tip to consider is having an ample supply of clothing layers to ensure if an emergency does happen, you can keep your body’s core temperature up. Having long underwear, wool socks, winter hats, gloves, etc., is a good start.
With these easy tips, hopefully, you can prepare in advance and have more peace of mind during these chaotic and tumultuous times. Winter preparedness may come in handy this year especially with everything else going on around us.