As the weather gets colder, the snow starts blustering, and before you know it, ice encases your car doors.
Everyone loves the first snowfall, but winter storms have severe dangers. Sometimes it’s freezing pipes; other times, it’s a loss of power. Either way, don’t get caught off guard the next time a winter storm strikes.
We chose these 5 winter storm safety essentials because they are portable, don’t rely on electricity, and keep you fed/warm/hydrated. Don’t let an unexpected snowstorm put you in peril this winter.
What to Worry About in a Winter Storm?
There’s a lot to worry about when it comes to winter storms.
As we saw in Texas a few years ago, cold weather and snowstorms can have devastating effects on nearly everything. From bursting water pipes to entire power grids shutting down, you never know what might happen when mother nature’s winter wrath comes down.
When a winter storm arrives, the first thing you should do is avoid any unnecessary traveling.
Even if you have all-weather tires, more cars on the road means it’s harder for plow trucks to get through. And if plow trucks can’t get through, the streets become icier and more dangerous.
Reschedule any errands on your docket. If you have essential traveling, try and get as much of it done before the snow hits.
It’s also a great idea to have an emergency car kit on the off chance that you get stuck on the highway. Last winter, Virginians ended up stuck in their cars on I-95 for nearly 15 hours and those without an emergency car kit were left hungry, thirsty, and rationing gasoline to heat their cars.
You should also have an excellent stock of food and water in your pantry. As a winter storm approaches, grocery store shelves quickly empty. People will panic buy.
At the same time, you don’t want to be without food and water.
Lastly, be conscious of freezing or bursting pipes.
A burst pipe could result in something as small as water damage or as dangerous as mold growth in the walls. To avoid this, run your faucets, keep your home warm, and make sure your pipes stay insulated.
The best defense against a winter storm is preparation and prevention. That means having a winter storm safety essentials kit, staying off the roads, and winterizing your pipes.
5 Winter Storm Safety Essentials
The two most important elements of any winter storm safety essentials are that they are portable and don’t require electricity.
All five of the winter storm safety essentials on this list will keep you warm, fed, and hydrated no matter how cold and snowy it is outside.
How Do I Stay Warm During a Winter Storm?
You might have a couple extra blankets around the house, but probably not an emergency thermal blanket.
What’s the difference, you ask?
Emergency thermal blankets are “low-weight, low-bulk blankets made of heat-reflective, thin, plastic sheeting.” Because of this, they are portable (perfect for your car or in a closet) but incredibly warm.
When used correctly, an emergency thermal blanket can “retain and reflect back up to 90% of body heat.” If you have no electricity, are stranded in a car, or are without a fireplace, one of these thermal blankets will protect you from the elements.
Add in the fact that these thermal blankets are reusable. It’s a no-brainer to keep a couple around the house and in your car.
How Do I Stay Up-to-Date During Winter Storms?
It is always a good idea to have a way to communicate when winter weather comes around. You never know how long your power might be out during a snowstorm.
The SECUR Dynamo/Solar Emergency NOAA Radio and Flashlight is an all-in-one emergency radio.
It features a “digital NOAA weather band radio, AM/FM radio, cell phone charger, USB compatible, built-in hand crank and solar panel.” That way, you’ll be able to charge your phone, listen to the latest weather updates, or just listen to some music without having to worry about having power.
If bad weather is approaching, you need an all-in-one emergency radio somewhere in your house. This winter storm safety essential is exactly what you need to stay in contact with the outside world while power is down for a couple of days.
What Happens if I have No Food, Water, or Power During a Winter Storm?
Keeping food and water around the house is always a good idea, especially during an oncoming winter storm.
It’s a good idea to stock up ahead of time; that way, you don’t end up in the snowstorm crunch.
The first thing you should always have on hand is a package of bottled water. Bottled water tends to be one of the first products before the snow, making it a winter storm safety essential (but be aware bottled water has a shelf-life).
You can always purchase emergency drinking water. With a five-year shelf life, these perfectly portioned water pouches are great for when you’re in a pinch and need hydration.
Along with the water, you should also snag some edible essentials. We’re talking about peanut butter, canned foods, and trail mix, and all of these items are pantry staples that last a long time.
Refrigerated foods like eggs, vegetables, and cold cuts make the cut for immediate needs. These are usually more difficult to find the closer you get to the first snowfall.
It won’t hurt to have some snacks in the cupboard as well. Think granola bars, cereals, or other kinds of health bars.
There are also Ready Hot Meals available. No refrigeration needed and a five-year shelf life, these food packs heat themselves up so you won’t have to worry about having a hot meal when the power goes out.
Before the first flake of snow drops from the clouds, you will want to have your food and water supply situated. But remember, the closer you are to the snowstorm timewise, the less food and the more crowded the supermarkets will be.
- 4 oz. Purified Emergency Drinking Water (Case of 64 Pouches – Total 2 Gallons) [Long Term Storage: 5-Year Shelf Life] (70001)$26.70
- [Self-Isolation or Quarantine Preparedness Food Supply] READY HOT MEALS: HeaterMeals EX, Self-Heating Meal (12 Hot Meal Variety Pack – 5-Year Shelf-Life) (70150)$114.95
What Should I Use for Light if the Power Goes Out?
Obviously, if your power goes out, you’re going to need to see. And while some folks prefer lighters and candles, be aware that any open flame has the potential to start a fire. That’s why we recommend having at least one powerful flashlight on hand.
The Storm-Proof Emergency Lantern is a high-powered light source for when the power goes out. It has the ability to run for 225 hours on its lowest brightness setting.
There are also storm-proof emergency LED flashlights that provide a great light source in the worst conditions. These are perfect for emergencies and disasters.
If you end up stranded on the road, you might want to look into purchasing a package of emergency light sticks. One stick can last up to 12 hours which is huge when you’re stuck in a winter storm.
One of the benefits of these particular light sticks is that they don’t require batteries. The last thing you want is for your power to run out and then realize you have no batteries for your flashlight.
When the power goes out during a winter storm or if you’re stranded in your car, make sure you have at least one flashlight (or light stick) available.
How Can I Prepare for a Winter Storm?
As the snow starts piling up outside, either make your own or buy a cold-weather preparedness kit from us so you’ll be prepared for the worst.
A couple of winter storm safety essentials that you want in your cold-weather preparedness kit include heat packs, a thermal blanket, some snacks, bottled water, a flashlight, and waterproof matches/firestarters.
All of these combined allow you to stay safe, hydrated, and warm in the worst of winter weather conditions.
Simply put all of these items in a bag or backpack, and put it either in your car or house. Since the food is non-perishable, it should last for quite a while.
Need Winter Storm Safety Essentials?
Snowstorm coming? LifeSecure has you covered with various winter storm safety essentials, from flashlights to thermal blankets.
Get your winter weather preparedness kit before the first snowflake drops from the sky. That way, you aren’t left out in the cold.