The winter months are upon us, which means it’s time to start prepping your family and your home for what lies ahead. Winter can bring ice, snow, blizzards, and power outages; and every prepper should be prepared to ride out all of them.
- Non-Perishable Food
Having food in the house that won’t go bad is essential during the winter months. Keep things like cereal, energy bars, and canned meats. Make sure you have plenty of bottled water (and baby food/formula, if necessary).
- Health And Safety
Your home should always be stocked with a first aid kit, but you should stock up during these months just in case the snow prevents you from leaving. If you know a storm is coming, refill any prescriptions and medications you might need during this time. Also stock up on salt and sand to add traction on your walkway and driveways to prevent any falls.
- Emergency Lighting
During power outages, use battery-powered flashlights or lanterns. Don't try using portable gas stoves in the house because the fumes are deadly. If you do use candles for light, never leave them alone while they’re lit.
- Emergency Heat Sources
Turning on the stove for heat is not safe. If your heat goes out, make sure you have extra blankets, a fireplace that is up to code, and a portable space heater. Use a space heater that has automatic shut-off switches and non-glowing elements for safety reasons. Keep your heat sources at least three feet away from furniture or drapes.
- Emergency Communication
Just in case there is a power failure, make sure you have at least one of the following items: A cell phone with portable charger and extra batteries or a battery powered radio with extra batteries. Find out how your community warns the public about severe weather, whether that is a siren, radio, television alert, or local websites. Make a family communication plan because you may not all be together when a winter storm hits.
- Home Maintenance
When temperatures drop below freezing, leave all water taps slightly open so they can drip constantly and not freeze. Keep the temperature inside your house warm and allow more heated air near pipes and open the cabinet doors under your sink to allow heat in. If your pipes do freeze, do not thaw them with a torch. They will slowly thaw over time with warm air from a hair dryer.
- Car Emergency Kit
You should minimize travel during winter storms and only be on the road if necessary, but it is recommended that you keep the following items in your car:
- Extra Batteries
- Tire chains
- Emergency flares
- First aid kit
- Road salt and sand
- Snack food
- Portable Charger
- Extra hats, coats and mittens
Winter can bring some of the most brutal weather to a majority of the U.S., but with these tips you can have your family and neighbors prepared for what these cold months might bring. If you haven’t already, sign up for text message alerts from Civil Dispatch. These alerts will notify you of any severe winter weather headed your way!