With winter comes rain storms, high winds and blizzards. Don’t be caught unprepared for winter storms. It’s time to stock up on all the supplies and items you’ll need in case of power outages or snowy roads. Here are some tips so you’re prepared for the unexpected this winter.
Emergency Kit Add-ons
While every house should have an emergency kit before winter rolls in, there are some things you should add to your basics. Pack away some rock salt. If your driveway or walkway gets iced over, rock salt will melt the ice so no one slips. Sand can improve the traction of vehicles when conditions aren’t ideal, and snow shovels or any other snow removal equipment should be kept accessible.
Map out an emergency communication plan with your family. Make sure all members can and know how to receive emergency alerts and warnings. Discuss a plan of action with your family in case of emergency. Agree on a meeting place outside the house in case of different kinds of winter disasters such as floods, blizzards and power outages. Practice your plan with the whole family. This way everyone will know exactly what to do if disaster strikes.
When it comes to snowy and winter weather, not all vehicles are created equal. You can’t face snowy roads in a Honda Civic. You’ll need something more heavy duty, like a Toyota 4Runner, one of the most off-road compatible SUVs out there, and one that has earned a reputation of ruggedness for 20 years strong. The Jeep Wrangler is also a good bet. The Wrangler is more than capable of plowing through deep snow, and if you’re afraid of getting stuck, with chains or studded tires this vehicle is nearly unstoppable. An all-wheel drive Subaru model is the essential winter vehicle. Subaru has created a name for itself as a reliable everyday driver that can excel in harsh winter conditions, chief among them, the Subaru Outback.
Stay on top of the recommended maintenance for your vehicle, including oil changes and tire pressure. Cold winter air can do a number on the seals and gaskets in your fuel injector, valve stems, transmission and water pump. Replace these when they shows signs of wear. Apple Rubber sells o-rings of every size and material.
Did you know a person needs a gallon of water every day? When you stockpile supplies, take this into consideration. If you’re on a pump, a power outage can mean no water for an extended period of time. In 2008 the Northeast of the United States was hit by snow storms resulting in 1.5 million people left without power, and it took two weeks before it was restored in all locations. Many power outages have hit various parts of the U.S. over the years, and while not all are as bad as in 2008, you should prepare for the worst.
Other provisions include dried and canned foods, warm clothes, blankets and sleeping bags, as well as alternate lighting sources such as kerosene or solar lamps and flashlights. Propane heaters can be ideal for prolonged power outages without electric heat. If you find yourself stranded within or outside your own home in the middle of a winter storm, a satellite phone can be a lifesaver. Satellite phones have service anywhere and everywhere. Even if there is no power you can call for emergency help or communicate with loved ones.