When there are forecasts of a winter storm bearing down on you, remember this… BEFORE the winter storm hits, check the following winter weather preparedness items for your home and your vehicle… This short list should be a general reminder of things for you to think about BEFORE a winter storm strikes. In no way is this list all-inclusive (it would take a book), and in fact this list is quite minimal. If you’re interested, there are many additional articles to be found within our blog regarding preparedness, preps, and being better prepared. Food Supply While most people have enough food in their home to last at least a few days, double-check your consumables in advance of others clearing out the grocery store shelves of milk and bread, etc. You should ALWAYS have some food in your vehicle (as in, 72-hour emergency kit). At a minimum, keep a number of food bars (typically 200-calories each) in case you’re stranded or delayed in bad weather. In theory, 10 of these would be enough calories for a day’s survival for one person. Medicinal Needs If you know that you are nearing a prescription refill, it is better to take care of that before a winter storm. Flashlights and Batteries Check your flashlights that they work. Do you need more batteries? Do you have a flashlight in your vehicle? LED Lantern technology Best Rechargeable Batteries Portable AM/FM Radio Having a battery operated portable AM/FM/Shortwave radio is imperative for when the power goes out. It will become your source to information from the outside world. Best Cheap Portable Radio Best Portable AM/FM/Shortwave Radio Weather Radio A public alert weather radio is good all year round for all severe weather. During the winter you will be alerted to winter storm watches and warnings, and more… NOAA Weather Radio Basics Portable Emergency Heater Most home heating systems will not operate if the power goes out. It is prudent to consider an alternative means of keeping warm in your home. Mr. Heater Buddy Sleeping Bag If the power goes out, it would do you well to have a decent sleeping bag, which will keep you warmer than just in bed with blankets. Lots to pick from… Check temperature ratings… Queen Size Sleeping Bag Coffee Percolator Creature comforts are important too. If you are like most people and you drink coffee in the morning, about the only way you’re going to get that cup of coffee when the power goes out is with a percolator (along with a portable camp stove to heat it). Coffee Percolator Portable Cook Stove Without power, a portable camp stove will allow you to heat food, etc. Check for safety issues regarding cooking indoors. Some are deemed safe, while others are not. Portable Gas Stove Blankets Do you have warm blankets at home? It is also important to keep a blanket to wrap around you in your vehicle during the winter. The Warmest Survival Blanket Road Flares Should you get ditched in a snow drift or an unfortunate accident, a series of road flares will greatly increase visibility and caution for other drivers. You can find these at auto-parts stores and other stores… Snow Shovels I know this is pretty obvious. But don’t forget to keep a snow shovel in your vehicle! They make all sizes and shapes, so find one that will fit in your trunk. Ice Melter There are several types of ‘road salt’ for melting ice. There are also specific varieties that are pet-safe (won’t hurt their paws). Keep some at home, and a small bag in your trunk of the vehicle. Kitty litter works well for temporary traction. Ice Scraper Just be sure that you remember to put it in your vehicle. I would get a new one each year because the plastic blade tends to chip after a bit of usage and will not always do as good a job on the window the following winter. Windshield Washer Fluid Get the kind that is good to below zero-degrees! Otherwise it will freeze and won’t spray on your windshield when you need it the most. Check the label. Fill Your Tank Always keep your gas tank closer to FULL than EMPTY, especially during the winter. The point is to run through an overview of what you might need BEFORE a winter storm hits. The big thing is to plan for an assumption that you may lose power. This is where it gets most dangerous (other than the dangers of driving during a winter storm). Be safe.