Updated: May 21
Being prepared before a storm is very important. Having the right supplies can be the difference
between a cozy day in or a long cold day on house arrest. Preparation is key, but you can’t plan for
everything, so expecting the unexpected is very important.
When it comes to preparation, it is better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.
Losing power is a possibility during (and even after) a snowstorm, depending on damage to power lines.
In preparation for a power outage, you should have candles and matches, along with electric lanterns.
Lanterns are easier and give off plenty of light, but Candles never run out of battery.
Another helpful item to have in your back pocket if the power goes out is a generator. They are a bit
pricey, but if you don’t know how long you will be without power it is a godsend. There are some
important things to know about generators if you have never used one. The most important rule is to
never use it indoors. The generator creates carbon monoxide fumes that are deadly in an enclosed
space. This is a real danger so always remember to read the generator’s user manual for all the safety
requirements. Another important tip to remember is to never plug in sensitive electrical equipment,
such as computers and TVs, directly to the generator. The power from the generator is uneven and may
cause surges that can destroy sensitive circuits. To avoid this issue, you can use a UPS. A UPS is an
uninterrupted power supply that puts the electronics on battery power if it senses that power to the
electrical circuit is interrupted.
Food and other necessities are also important to stock up on before the storm. It goes without saying:
water is very important, as well as canned goods. Soups and stews are good to have on hand, as are nuts
and beans. They are full of protein which increases body temperature through diet-induced
Even if you are completely prepared, you may need to still travel. Ideally, you will have either all wheel
drive or 4 wheel drive which can handle snow and ice as long as you drive carefully and maintain a safe
speed. If you have chains, it would be best if you put them on before the storm so you can be prepared
in a moment’s notice, instead of fumbling in the cold snow. If you do not have a covered parking spot or
a garage, you should lift your wiper blades up so they don’t get stuck under snow and ice. You should
also have a full tank of gas before the storm hits, in case fuel deliveries are delayed due to the weather.
Even with the correct tires, chains or drive train, getting stuck in a snowdrift is still a possibility. Along
with an ice/snow scraper for your windows, you should have a shovel in case you do get stuck in the
snow. The shovel can help you dig your tires out and clear a path. If you can find branches or dirt or
anything that can add traction for your tires to grip, it will also help to get you unstuck. If you have space in your vehicle, a bag of kitty litter would come in handy to get traction. You can also let some air
out of your tires to create a wider surface area for your tires to grip. If you are really in a bind, you can
use your floor mats, but you should try your other options first. If all else fails, you can call a tow truck.
You may have to wait a while, so make sure to check your exhaust to ensure it is not blocked by snow. If
it is, the exhaust can seep into the vehicle which will cause carbon monoxide poisoning.
Here are some more simple tricks to make life easier during a snow storm.
- Keep heat in by closing doors to rooms you are not using by putting towels along the floor. This
will keep out drafts of cold air from doors.
- Invest in an actual snow shovel to clear walkways: they are made to make shoveling snow easy.
-Rock salt is also handy in melting ice on walkways, which will keep you from slipping and falling.
This time of year, it is important to be as prepared as possible so you can be safe. Being prepared helps
you and your loved ones safely enjoy the holidays without the stress of being unprepared. So make sure
you are ready for a safe holiday season!