Although winter snow and ice storms might be the furthest thing from our minds during this summer heat, it’s never too soon to prepare a home emergency supply kit. Besides, your kit can help keep your family and your home safe during both summer and winter storms.
Before the first winter storm hits, make sure that your shovels and ice-melt are easily accessible, that your snowblower is fueled up or that you have renewed your contract with your snow plowing service.
The American Red Cross recommends having the following supplies on hand in case of a winter storm:
Water – you should have at least a 3-day supply of water on hand; one gallon per person per day.
Food – have at least a 3-day supply of non-perishable, easy-to-prepare food on hand. Don’t forget to pack a can opener and dishware in your emergency kit.
Flashlights – you’ll want a couple flashlights, but ideally you should have one for each member of the family. Having a least one hand-crank flashlight is a good idea, in case you run out of batteries.
Radio – a battery-powered or hand-crank radio or TV will help you stay informed of current weather conditions or warnings.
Extra batteries – for your flashlights and radio.
Cell phone with chargers.
First aid kit – make sure your first aid kit is well stocked and that none of its contents have expired. A portable kit is best, in case you need to leave and take it with you.
Medications – having a 7-day supply of any medications that you may need is recommended. Also be sure to have other medical items that you require such as glasses, syringes, cane, etc.)
Personal hygiene items and toiletries.
Copies of personal documents – medication lists, passports, birth certificates and insurance documents, to name a few.
Family and emergency contact information.
Extra cash – in case you can’t use credit cards.
Baby supplies – if there is an infant in the family have extra diapers, bottles, formula, baby food, pacifiers and any other important items on hand.
Pet supplies – if you have pets be sure to have their collar, leash, food, ID and carrier.
Tools and supplies for securing your home and for snow removal.
Grit and ice-melt products – sand, kitty-litter, rock salt and ice-melt can help make walkways and steps less slippery.
Clothing and blankets – the heat might be off in the house so make sure you have warm sweaters and coats, gloves or mittens, hats, boots and extra blankets for everyone in the family. In addition to the warm layers, have a change of clothing for each person.
A winter storm can hit unexpectedly and can last from a few hours to several days. That’s why it’s best to be prepared for the worst-case scenario, in case you are housebound for several days.
Reference: American Red Cross