Are You Prepared for the Next Blizzard?

5 Tips for Weathering the Next Storm

December 20, 2018
Winter Storm

Are you really prepared for the next blizzard? Let’s check. Here are five easy ways to be better prepared for the next snow storm.

Every winter, snowstorms are in the forecast throughout most North American regions. Many of us have experienced frigid winter temperatures in wintertime, but if you haven’t updated your preparedness kit in a while, there is always more you can do to ensure the safety of you and your family before the next winter storm hits. 

Five Ways to Prepare for Blizzards and Snow Storms

  1. Know your risk. How prepared is your region for winter weather? How well do residents in your community drive on icy roads? Southern snow storms obviously take more time to recuperate from because they have less snow removal equipment. If you live in the south, prepare for many schools and businesses to be closed for days.

  2. Build a preparedness kit. We update our kit every year. FEMA has an excellent list. Also, keep a preparedness kit in your car! Never leave the house without a water bottle, cell phone, hand sanitizer and umbrella. I keep other important items such as a flashlight, blanket, first aid kit, granola bars, ice scraper/snow brush, shovel, windshield washer fluid and cell phone charger in my car.  Make sure your tires are in good shape, you have at least a half tank of gas and your car is running smoothly too. Check out our car emergency kit list.

  3. Have a back-up plan for power. Make sure you and your family can survive without electricity for at least 3 days. Invest in a generator, especially if you live in an area frequented by power outages.

  4. Start a conversation with your family, neighbors and employer. Do you have a plan—including a plan for your family and pets? Would any of your elderly or special needs neighbors need help if they lost power? Does your employer expect you to be at work during a winter storm? 

  5. Don’t overexert yourself when outdoors in the cold weather. The American Heart Association says the strenuous activity of shoveling snow can take a toll on your body and can actually increase your chances of having a heart attack. While you may think you’re OK, someone you know may not be. Take an American Red Cross CPR/First Aid/AED course to learn life-saving skills! Pet CPR courses are also available in some areas. 

Preparedness is power! Don’t be left out in the cold during the next winter storm. See our articles on staying warm in winter and keeping pipes from freezing for more tips.

Do you have any tips for surviving a blizzard? Let us know in the comments!

Reader Comments

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Prepared always not just Winter.

After surviving Super Storm Sandy in 2012, we were without power for 9 days, we have learned quite a few survival tactics that kept us comfortable. We have a smaller generator that kept freezer and fridge running. This is a gas generator. We always keep gas in cans on hand since then. I've purchased quite a few on yard sales since then so now we have 6. If a threat of any large storm is in the forecast we fill them all. Our well runs on electric which doesn't have power so we always keep our above the ground pool up all season and never take it down. That's our supply for water for toilets, and washing. We have a wood stove in basement that was going during the storm and I have learned to cook on it. I have purchased cast iron pots and a tea kettle for that wood stove to use during power outages. Made some excellent meals on that stove while we were without power. I am now going to have my husband and son build an outdoor pizza/ bread oven this spring. We have a large supply of firewood since the storm from clean up of downed trees for years to come. You'd be surprised at what you can do when your in a disaster situation. And that storm was a disaster.

Battery backup

I'm trying to get away from using fossil fuels, so rather than having a gas guzzling generator (they're more sophisticated today so you don't necessarily have to go outside to get them started), when I had solar panels installed, I invested in battery backup. I live out in the country and power outages are fairly frequent. Last winter one lasted for 4 days. When the power goes out, the only way I can tell is that the clock on my electric range goes out. Major heating appliances don't run on the batteries, like the water heater, electric range and the heat pump which heats my home. But with a wood stove and frugal use of lighting, etc., we got by nicely. I was pleased that my home's insulation must be pretty good because it didn't get below 60 degrees- with heavy socks and sweaters, we were fine until the power came back on. It's a fun challenge to cook with the microwave and on the top of the woodstove and make toast and boy scout stew on the coals, too.

Stock up

Stock up on plenty of food, water, medicines and bandages, personal hygiene supplies, batteries, clorox bleach for disinfecting. Always have a hand held can opener or two. I use battery operated candles because they can't cause a fire, otherwise be careful with candles and matches and lighters around children. It is also nice to invest in a Sub-0 degree sleeping bag.