While snowstorms don’t always knock the power out, that is a possibility, and it is best to plan accordingly. In dealing with freezing temperatures and icy roads, you want to be able to ensure that you and your loved ones will be as comfortable as possible while being snowed in. Use this article to create a winter preparedness checklist to avoid being short on storm supplies the next time your area experiences heavy snowfall.

Staying Well Nourished and Healthy

variety of canned foods

Water. If pipes freeze during a snowstorm and the roads are closed, it is of the utmost importance to have bottled water on hand. You should have a supply of enough water to last each member of your household at least three days, estimating approximately a gallon per person per day.

Food. Keep a supply of nonperishables and canned goods in your pantry in case the power goes out and you are unable to cook. Some good options are peanut butter and jelly; canned meats, fruits, and vegetables; and chips, cereal, and granola bars. Even if the power does not go out, the grocery stores tend to get picked over very quickly prior to storms, so it will serve you well to have already stocked up. Don’t forget to buy some disposable plates, bowls, and utensils as well in case frozen pipes prohibit you from washing dishes.

Medicine and specialty items. Keep any special family members in mind, such as pets and babies; be sure to have a good supply of anything they may need, such as pet food, infant formulas, and diapers, should you not be able to get to the store for a few days. Also, confirm that you have enough prescription medicine on hand since a trip to the pharmacy might not be an option.

Staying Safe

emergency kit with supplies for light, food, and first aid

Light. If the power goes out, flashlights are the best option for providing illumination. While candles also work, they can pose the threat of fire. If you do opt to use candles, make sure never to leave them unattended, and keep a fire extinguisher close by.

Warmth. To stay warm during a power outage, have enough extra blankets and clean, winter clothing, such as mittens, sweaters, and socks, for all members of the family as well as plenty of dry firewood and matches if you have a fireplace. Portable, battery-operated space heaters are also a good option. Never use the stove to generate heat, as it can create a safety hazard.

Safety. A battery-operated radio is another essential; if power is out and your cell phone batteries have died, a radio may be your only way to stay informed about the status of the storm in your area. Remember to have plenty of extra batteries for flashlights, radios, and any other electronics you will want to be able to use for the duration of the storm. Last but not least, a first aid kid with basics like over-the-counter medicine, bandages, and antibacterial ointment can really save the day if someone gets sick or injured while roads are closed.

Staying Entertained

To avoid the cabin fever that may come from being snowed in, make sure to have plenty of things to keep you busy. If you do not lose power, you will obviously have computers and televisions at your disposal, but books, cards, and board games are nice to have in case you don’t have the luxury of using your electronics. This is especially important if you have small children you need to keep occupied.

While it can be frustrating to have a storm disrupt your daily routine, it does not have to be a harrowing experience if you are properly prepared. In fact, spending a few days with your loved ones without the distraction of technology can actually help bring you closer together. By educating yourself about how to prepare for a winter storm, you are making the safety of your family a priority.

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