Practical (and Fun!) Winter Storm Supplies
It might be 43 degrees outside with no snow in sight, but it’s actually the perfect time to prepare for our next big winter storm. Do you have a store of water, food, and firewood? What about flashlights and backup batteries? Diapers, medicine, and toilet paper? Do you have a hand-crank radio and cell phone car charger? How about art supplies for the kids? A knitting project or a new book?
Each year the area experiences at least one winter storm that closes train lines and roads — and if you’re prepared with food in the refrigerator, a well-stocked wood pile, and a new book, it can completely enjoyable. But if you’re left scrambling to find firewood and ice melt, it can be quite stressful.
FEMA recommends keeping the following emergency supplies on hand at all times, even in warmer months. Here’s their handy guide for additional information!
Oh, and once you’re done reading about the super important supplies FEMA outlines, keep scrolling for our recommendations — you know, the supplies that will help you enjoy the storm as it passes.
- Water – Ensure you have at least 1 gallon of water per person per day for at least 3 days. (Store a longer than 3-day supply of water, if possible). An average person needs to drink about 3/4 of a gallon of fluids daily. Individual needs vary depending on age, gender, health, level of activity, food choices, and climate. You may also need stored water for food preparation.
- Food – Store at least a 3-day supply of non-perishable food for members of your household, including pets. Consider special dietary needs (e.g., infant formula). Include a non-electric can opener for canned food.
- Flashlight, radio, and cell phone charger – You will need to be able to charge these items without electricity. Your flashlight and radio should be either hand-cranked or battery-powered, and stored with extra batteries. Your cell phone charger should be hand-crank, solar, or able to be charged from a car outlet.
- Medical – Include first aid kit, prescription and non-prescription/over-the-counter medications, and medical supplies.
- Sanitation – Pack supplies for sanitation, such as hand sanitizer, towelettes, paper products, diapers, and plastic bags, for use when water resources are limited.
- Assistive Technology – Include battery backup power for power-dependent mobility devices, oxygen, and other assistive technology needs.
In addition, FEMA recommends having the following on hand well before winter — it’s an excellent list, really! After all, who doesn’t remember snow falling within days of Hurricane Sandy?
- Extra clothing, blankets, and sleeping bags – Dress in layers to keep warm if you lose power. Ensure you have enough clothing, hats, mittens, and blankets or sleeping bags for everyone in the house.
- Items for snow and ice – Stock up on rock salt to melt ice on walkways or sand or kitty litter to improve traction and snow shovels or other snow removal equipment.
- Wood – Store a supply of dry, seasoned wood if you have a working fireplace or wood-burning stove with a safe flue or vent.
Now the fun supplies that will bring coziness, enjoyability, and certainly hygge to the storm:
- New art supplies for the kids or (if you’re feeling generous) a new LEGO set to keep them occupied.
- That new book you’ve been dying to read.
- Ingredients for a delicious soup that can simmer on the stovetop for hours.
- Ingredients for mulled wine or hot cocoa.
- And if you feel like completing a home project, buy your supplies in advance and get to work as the snow falls. Psst…want to know a secret? This is Sarah Gee’s favorite way to pass a blizzard! You’ll find her at IKEA in the days leading up to a snow storm, not at the grocery with the rest of town!
- A contingency plan for if you loose power — know in advance which of your neighbors and friends have generators in the event power is lost for a few days. Stock up on their favorite wine and head over for a visit when you need to warm up.
Just joining us? Winter at Home is a six week program devoted to all things winter survival at home. And we’re not talking perfection here — we’re talking about deeply enjoying the season with board games, cozy fires, warm socks, and handicrafts, leaving behind our piles of laundry and messy kitchens until we run out of spoons for hot chocolate. Check back often and please stay a while!