There’s a storm a-coming… So what are you doing to prepare?
One of the best parts about snow storms is that we usually get prior warning before it comes and dumps who-knows-how-much white stuff all over us. Winter storms can knock out power for days or even weeks, grocery stores can be cleaned out the day before, and roads are turned into skating rinks. There are plenty of other hazards associated with snow storms, and once they arrive, the time to prepare is pretty much over. Fortunately, there’s still time!
So, before the next big storm pays you a visit, what should you make sure you have? Let’s have a look at the really important stuff.
Let’s face it, water is probably the most important part of prepping. If your water pipes burst or water becomes inaccessible for any other reason, you’ll be glad you have a store of water that will last you at least three days, more if possible.
Water isn’t just for drinking. Of course, you’ll want to bathe or wash your hands or dishes…maybe even flush the toilet! Having at least one gallon of water per person per day will let you stay healthily hydrated, and give you enough water for basic sanitation.
Humans need to eat, and if you’re reading this, my guess is you fall under that category. Make sure you have enough food for three days. Apples are a great food to have during emergencies. According to a CNN health article, not only are apples a fantastic source of many essential nutrients, but they also have a water content of 84%. That means apples can help keep you hydrated even when water is difficult to come by.
Freeze-dried fruits and vegetable, meats and full entrees are another great resource. The freeze-drying process retains nearly all of the original nutrients of the food, unlike dehydrated food which loses nearly half its original nutrients. Freeze-dried food is ideal, because you can buy it today and let it sit on your shelf for up to 25 years! This way, if a storm does come on you unannounced, you’ll already have fresh fruit and veggies and hearty meals stored away, so while you may be in the middle of a disaster situation, you’ll be eating just like you would (dare I say better, even?) if it had never happened.
FEMA recommends having some sort of comfort food on hand. This can be whatever helps soothe you the best. My personal preference is chocolate. Others might be ice cream. While ice cream is difficult to store if the power’s out, freeze-dried ice cream can sit on the shelf and be perfectly good (and you can feel like an astronaut while you eat it, too).
Body wipes, dust masks, and hand sanitizer all have their place during an emergency. If the water’s off, body wipes might be the only way to bate. Likewise, hand sanitizer could be your only option to wash your hands after changing a dirty diaper.
Which brings me to the next category: babies. If you have young ones, will you have enough diapers to get you through until you can venture outside again? What about baby formula, or baby food? Plan ahead so that if going to the store becomes impossible, your younglings will still be taken care of.
Light and Heat
If the power goes out, so will your lights, and so will your furnace. Make sure you at least have enough blankets to stay warm, but also consider a portable propane heater (make sure it’s safe to run indoors). Heaters like these can make your living conditions a whole lot more comfortable.
At the least, make sure you have candles for light. The sun sets pretty early in the winter, which means it gets dark faster, too. Having candles can turn your home from a gloomy dungeon to a nice, romantic getaway (even though that “getaway” may have been forced upon you). Check your flashlights and make sure they have fresh batteries. Hand-crank lights and other light sources are always a good idea to have around. Candles can only do so much, but long-lasting lanterns that don’t require electricity (such as these ones from Goal Zero) can bring bright light to your blacked-out home
Make sure the gas tank in your car is topped off before the storm hits. If you need to get anywhere and the service station is out of commission, you'll be glad you did. If you have other gas tanks, such as propane for your grill, make sure you have a full tank as well, just in case it becomes your only option for cooking.
Let’s face it, you’re going to get bored quickly if you’re not prepared. The TV obviously won’t work without power, and your laptop can only run for so long before it needs a charge. So what’s a person to do? There are some good options to keep the boredom at bay.
Reading is one of them. Be sure you have a light source handy (see above) so you can read once it gets dark. Reading a good book will not only make the time fly by, but you’ll be doing something that’s very enjoyable. If you need some recommendations, I’ll post some at the bottom of this article. I’ve got just what you need J
Board games are another excellent way to pass the time. I love tabletop games. They are a great way to bring your family together for a good time. There are so many wonderful board games these days that you’ve probably never even heard of. By all means, bust out the Uno, Monopoly, and Risk (I love Risk), but again, if you would like some recommendations of fun games for you and your family (with some for everyone), I’ll make a list at the bottom of the post.
Well, I’m sure there are other things not mentioned here that you would think obvious additions. By all means, please let us know in the comments what else you should prepare with!
- Empire – Orson Scott Card (Speculative Fiction)
- Mistborn – Brandon Sanderson (Fantasy)
- Steelheart – Brandon Sanderson (Young Adult)
- Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie – Jordan Sonnenblick (Young Adult)
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid – Jeff Kinney (Middle Grade)
- The BFG – Roald Dahl (Children)
- The Virginian – Owen Wister (Western)
- 1948 – George Orwell (Fiction)
- David and Goliath – Malcolm Gladwell (Non-Fiction)
- A Higher Call – Adam Makos (Military Non-Fiction)
Board Game Suggestions
- Tiny Epic Kingdoms
- King of Tokyo
- Forbidden Island
- Lost Cities
- Survive! Escape from Atlantis