Five Things You Should Have in Your Home Before Winter Hits
As they say, winter is coming, and even as we get kids back to school and cozy up to autumn rituals, it’s important to be prepared. Many people don’t stop to take account of what we have on hand, so we don’t really think about what we might need when winter weather and other storms hit. Here are five categories of things you could need in the event of a winter storm.
1. The Necessities
This category is the stuff that you need—not want, not things that would be nice to have—but the very stuff that keeps us alive. Stripped to their most basic functions, we’re really talking about four things: food, water, medicine, and a heat source.
First, you’ll want to keep a three-day supply of non-perishable food. Think: canned goods, peanut butter, energy bars, etc. If you simply keep a small pantry stocked, you and your family should be able to forage for enough energy to keep you well until it’s safe to go out to replenish.
Water can be compromised or contaminated during a heavy storm or other conditions like flooding that is caused by weather. The American Red Cross recommends keeping at least one gallon of water per person.
If someone in your household takes medications for a medical condition or something like anxiety, not taking it can have extreme consequences. Keep up to seven days’ worth of meds on hand before a storm. The American Red Cross also recommends stocking any additional health-related items such as syringes, contact lenses, and extra batteries for devices like hearing aids.
Finally, it’s important to keep your warmth. At minimum, take stock to ensure you have extra blankets in the house. You’ll also want to put jackets, scarves, and gloves in this category.
2. Tools that Could Keep You Safe During a Storm
Not everybody anticipates a bad storm like a prepper but there are a few things anyone should have around the house just in case. The first of these tools is a couple of flashlights with extra batteries in case the electricity is severed. A few candles also couldn’t hurt but flashlights and camping lanterns are safer choices.
The second item you need is a wireless radio—we’re talking a very basic, hand-cranked or battery-operated weather radio that can pick up broadcasts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which issues National Weather Service broadcasts, watches, warnings, and other information that could give you an edge.
3. A First Aid Kit
Just in case you get stuck and something bad happens (a kid sprains a limb sledding, or a kitchen accident causes a cut, etc.), make sure you have a well-stocked first aid kit that contains the essentials.
4. The Tools That Make Life Easier
Some things to keep around the house aren’t strictly must-haves, but they’re nice to have. They’re odd things out that include a non-electric can opener, because peanut butter is going to get old if you can’t open other canned goods when the lights are out. We would also include here a bag of sand and a shovel. Bigger ticket items might include a gas-powered space heater or a backup power generator.