When we were living in a place where we were crippled by any type of winter storm I learned several easy to follow rules to follow. One year we were crippled by an ice storm that took out our power. We arrived home one evening late from a dinner with family and saw our neighbors putting suitcases in their minivan and heading out. It was late and when they drove down our road they stopped and said they were going to a hotel room. The power was out in our neighborhood because of the ice storm and they said it would be 5 days before we would see power again. We, of course, didn't believe them and went inside and put an extra blanket on the bed that night. The next day we still had no power and in the end our neighbors were right. We had no power for 5 days. It was our first year living in this neighborhood. After that we worked diligently to make sure we had enough provisions, ways to cook and ways to heat our house when we had power outages.
When it came to our BIG hurricane, Isabel, we were prepared. We had everything we needed and didn't have to really worry about not having power for 14 days. No, we didn't leave our house during this time and we had three kids under the age of 5. We were fine because we were prepared.
In winter storms we made sure we had enough wood and propane (our two alternative sources of heat) to make it through any power outages.
I learned that the worst time to prepare for a storm is just before the storm hits. Yes, I said it! BEFORE THE STORM HITS is the worst time to prepare. Why you ask?? Easy. That is when everyone else is preparing. The stores are packed and the stores know that everyone is coming to get provisions. None of the items you need are necessarily on sale so you won't be saving any money either.
The BEST time to prepare is AFTER the storm hits. Once everything settles down and you can safely drive again restock the items you used during the storm and then you will be prepared for the next storm. Now doesn't that make sense???
If you aren't prepared prior to the storm then shop at the first mention of a "possible" storm. If it hits you are prepared and didn't have to deal with empty shelves, fighting for the last loaf of bread, or crowds of people. Then shop again after the storm and restock any provisions you used so you are ready for the next storm.
Use the following below as a guide to help prepare.
Winter Storm Prep ChecklistTo Do:
- Pick up all toys and tools in the yard and straighten up the leaves and twigs that fall from the trees.
- Cover lawn furniture and the wood pile.
- Stack firewood.
- Finish winterizing the garden.
- Enough food and water storage for at least one week.
- Get generator, snow blower, snow mobile, etc. in good working order.
- Top off oil and gasoline so it is ready to use.
- Prepare for an alternative source of heat and cooking.
- Check battery supply, alternative lighting supply, emergency items.
- Top off other gasses like propane, kerosene, or any other fluids.
- Unpack winter blankets, flannel sheets, and freshen them for use.
- Unpack winter clothing such as coats, boots, gloves, hats. Try them on to make sure they fit and are wearable this season.