How to Prepare for a Winter Storm
So another winter storm is coming. Are you prepared or will you be running to the storm the night before like everyone else, picking through the left over bread and milk.
Here are some tips to help you prepare in advance and when you know a storm is coming.
These steps will only work if you take action before the storm hits. You will be behind trying to play catch up if you start after the storm has hit and you can’t get out of your driveway .
With a little planning, you’ll be prepared for the next winter storm.
Things to do Before a Winter Storm
- Know how to operator your generator. Do you know how to turn it on. Have the owners manual ready.
- Know how to properly turn off your electricity and move your power from the grid to your generator. And how to go back to grid power.
- Ensure your house is configured to use a generator (hire an electrician to have it run from your electric panel…and then know how to connect and disconnect the generator).
- Know where the flashlights and candles are….and have them charged and have extra batteries.
- Get a generator so you can at the minimum run your furnace to keep warm.
- Know who to call to plow your driveway if you do not.
- Have the numbers of your gas and electric companies handy should you need to report an outage.
- Buy extra power chargers for your cell phone.
- If your heat source is wood, have enough wood cut for the storm/winter.
- Having some wood/cardboard in a dry location is helpful should you need to restart the fire.
What to do When You Know a Winter Storm is Coming
- Keep up on your laundry. Do it while you have power. If you know there is a storm coming, do your best to get all your laundry washed AND dried. If the power goes out you don’t want only have dirty clothes to wear!
- Bottle up water in pitchers. If you don’t have those, use clean and washed empty 2 liter pop bottles. Or buy bottled water.
- Fill your tub with water, so you can flush the toilet if the power goes out. It will also be a source of water for you to keep your body clean with bird baths, doing dishes (boil it first). You will need a bucket to put it in your toilet.
- Have a bucket to get the water out of the tub into the toilet.
- Make sure your grill has propane. You can cook meals on this if needed (hot dogs, burgers & chicken and even pizza). If your grill has a place for a pot, you can cook on as well.
- Have matches on hand so you can light things on fire like candles and start a fireplace (if you have one)
- If your stove runs on gas or propane, you can light the stove with a match if needed and possibly use the oven. I don’t recommend trying to light the oven.
- If you have a generator, you can run a few appliances, so slow cooker meals would be easy to make and eat. Avoid running the washer/dryer or microwave (it could overload generator, if it’s small).
- Have fuel on hand to fill the generator for a few days.
- Charge your cell phone and battery back ups.
- Have enough food on hand for a minimum of 1 week, 2 if possible.
- Make freezer meals a head of time that can be cooked on the stove or slow cooker.
- Keep your vehicle full of fuel, so you can evacuate if needed.
- Shower ahead of the storm. You might not be able to do so if you lose power for a few days.
- Have enough toilet paper for everyone for at least what you would use in a week.
- Keep the driveway clear in case you have to leave in an emergency.
- Have candles or lamps and lamp oil for when the power goes out.
- Get board games, deck of cards, crossword and word find books to keep you busy.
- Have warm blankets to keep each person warm in bed.
- Close registers/doors to rooms that are not needed to conserve what heat you have in the house, possibly all sleep in the same room.
- Invite people who may not have heat to your home if you do, or seek another location to stay during the storm.
- Have enough food for your pets.
What have you had to do in winter storms?