Added: Mon. Jan 14, 2013 4:49pm
With the rush of the new year upon us many people forget the importance of preparing for winter weather. Even those who live in areas with mild weather can experience power outages or other emergencies due to winter rainstorms or high winds. In northern regions snow storms can be the cause of fatal car accidents, death from hypothermia and any number of less extreme but still serious inconveniences. Winter comes each year; don’t let it catch you unprepared. Stock your garage, pantry and car to make sure you and your family are safe no matter what Mother Nature throws at you.
In The Garage
Keeping the right supplies on hand can mean the difference in being stuck inside when the snow gets deep and getting around safely. Make sure you have the following items in your garage or storage space:
- Sand or rock salt to improve traction on icy steps and walkways.
- Snow shovels or a snowblower. If you live in an area that regularly receives heavy snow fall, consider investing in a snowblower to make snow removal easier, faster and safer.
- An emergency generator is ideal for people who live in extreme winter climates.
- A battery operated radio will allow you to stay connected to weather reports and emergency announcements if the electricity goes out.
In The Pantry
When reports of severe weather are broadcasted many people run to the grocery store to load up on essentials, often to find some essential items have been sold out. Don’t wait until the last minute to stock your pantry with the things your family needs to ride out a winter storm.
- At least 3 days worth of bottled water for each person in your family, including pets.
- Protein bars, nuts, canned milk, cereal and other foods that can be eaten without requiring refrigeration or cooking.
- Extra food for household pets.
- Flashlights, candles and extra batteries.
- A fully stocked emergency kit.
- Extra toiletries.
- Extra prescription medicines.
- Keep extra blankets and clothing layers on hand. If the power goes out during a winter storm dressing in layers is the best way to stay warm. Consider investing in a set of high-quality long underwear for everyone in the family, and save it for emergencies only; that way it will always be clean and available.
- A deck of cards, a good book or a board game can help keep everyone entertained when the power is out.
In The Car
Being stranded in the car during a severe winter storm can be deadly if you’re not prepared. Keep a supply of emergency items in the trunk to ensure your comfort and survival.
- A bag of sand can provide traction if you’re stuck in an icy rut.
- Keep bottled water and emergency rations such as granola bars or trail mix in the car for winter emergencies.
- A first aid kit
- A car emergency kit that includes chains, flairs and hazard cones.
- Silver thermal camping blankets are lightweight and easy to store in the glove compartment. Stock one for each person in the family.
- Flashlight and extra batteries.
A small amount of time spent on winter preparedness can literally save your life. Of course you don’t have to be in a life-or-death situation to benefit from preparedness. Having extra food, water and other essentials can make the difference in staying safe and cozy in your home during a storm and needing to dash to the store and fight over the last package of toilet paper with all the rest of the unprepared folks!
Holly is an Indianapolis native with a passion for health and fitness. In her spare time, she enjoys blogging on behalf of Sears and other brands she enjoys.