It’s November and some people are already experiencing winter weather.
We have been in a drought this year in SW Colorado, so we are hoping for a heavy snow year.
But when it comes to preparedness, winter can be the most dangerous time for emergencies.
I wrote a post a few months back about losing power and what to do. You can check that post out here —> 10 Tips For What To Do When The Power Goes Out.
7 Tips to Stay Safe In A Winter Emergency:
1. Stay warm
This is probably going to be the most important part of this whole list. If it is freezing outside and your power goes out, warmth is going to be your most important priority.
Here are few things to think about and get ready for this winter, before disaster strikes:
- Have a heat source that doesn’t require electricity. This could be a wood stove, fireplace, propane heater, etc.
- Have extra blankets and sleeping bags to stay warm.
- Seal off windows and doors to keep the warmth in.
- Have extra clothes to wear to keep warm, including socks, coats and long underwear.
- Have a stash of hand warmers (other camping hacks) to stay warm in your house.
2. Winter car kit
One of the worst things that can happen in a winter storm is to get stuck in your car on the side of the road. It’s a scary place to be.
But if you live in a place where winter storms are normal, it is highly likely that this will happen to you at some point.
In order to prepare for this situation, you need to put together a winter car kit to help you survive. Keep these things together in a basket or box in your trunk or backseat for easy access.
Items to put in your car kit:
- Food: nuts and granola bars, canned fruit, pop tarts and other non-perishable snacks
- Bottled water
- Light: flashlight, glow sticks, solar lantern, extra batteries
- Warm Clothes: gloves, socks, coats, snow boots, hats, pants
- Tools: jumper cables, ice scraper, shovel, flares or reflective triangles
- Cat litter or sand for tire traction
- Small First Aid Kit
- Phone charger and/or solar charger to charge your phone
3. Take care of animals
Animals can take a beating in a winter storm. It may even be hard to reach them if you get alot of snow. Here are a few things you can do to help them out and keep them safe.
- Keep water from freezing.
- Provide shelter.
- Bring them inside.
- Add extra bedding.
- Give them extra food.
I have a blog post on this topic, so if you want more information —> 21 Resources to Help You Keep Your Animals Warm In The Winter.
4. Keep pipes warm
One of the worst things that can happen because of a very cold winter is pipes bursting. What a mess!
Here are a few things to think about:
- Unhook your water hoses and drain them before the first freeze.
- Cover or insulate pipes that are not freeze proof to protect them from sub-freezing temperatures.
- If you have a well, make sure it is insulated and covered in the winter.
- Seal holes and cracks in the foundation of older homes with caulk or insulation.
- Let a faucet drip if the pipes will be exposed to below freezing temperatures for more than a few hours.
5. Snow removal
Do you have a snow removal system in place in case you get a large amount of snow at once?
Right after a large snow storm, the emergency room can get visits with people over doing it on snow shoveling.
If you need to remove large amounts of snow, get a machine to do most of the work:
- Snow blower
- Truck or four wheeler with a snow blade
If you must shovel the snow yourself, make sure and pace yourself. Shoveling is hard work and can wear you out quickly. Take breaks and don’t over do it.
6. Food/ water storage
Just in case you get snowed in your house for several days, you should always have emergency food and water storage available to use.
This could include quick meals you can eat without preparation or something you can cook without electricity.
Here are a few ideas:
- Ramen noodles or boxed mac and cheese
- Canned meals, fruits and vegetables
- Snacks like crackers, granola bars and nuts
- Beef jerky and freeze dried meals
- Oatmeal packets and Poptarts
For more on quick food/water storage, check out this post —> Emergency Preparedness for Beginners: One Week of Food and Water.
7. Clear trees and limbs away from your house
One thing that can happen in a big winter storm is that heavy snow can weigh down trees and power lines.
If you have power lines near your house, there isn’t really anything you can do about that.
But you can trim trees around your home so that they don’t cause damage if they get weighed down by snow in the winter. The last thing you need is a hole in the roof or busted window from a branch that breaks and falls on your house.
If you are in an area that gets large amounts of snowfall every year (or every few years), it is important to be prepared. Extreme cold can be very dangerous, especially without protection from the elements.
I hope this list helps you get your family prepared this winter! You won’t regret it!
What do you do for winter preparedness? Let us know in the comments below. And if you found this post helpful, please share. Thanks!