Ice storms, blizzards and other severe winter weather can force you to stay inside your home. Snowdrifts can pile up as high as second story windows! Some states even have laws against driving during severe winter storms. Severe ice storms can cause transformers to blow and electrical lines to fall. Before the storm hits, be prepared to go without electricity for at least three days. Linemen will not be able to get out to fix lines until the weather clears. You should not wait until the day before weathermen predict a severe winter storm. Get last minute emergency gear now, while it is still in stock. Here is a list of 15 items to get now.
- Indoor-safe propane or kerosene heater
- Enough heater fuel to last three days
- Firewood for fireplaces and wood-burning stoves
- A decent generator
- Gas to fuel a generator
- Matches and lighters
- Food that does not need electricity to cook
- Bottled water
- Water storage containers
- Warm blankets
- Battery-operated lighting and candles
- Fumeless cooking stove if your kitchen stove is not gas-powered
- Entertainment such as books, board games and playing cards
- Warm, clean clothes to dress in layers
When forced to shut-in due to severe winter weather, make sure to stay warm, dry, fed and keep everyone—including pets—safe and entertained. When running kerosene or propane heaters, remember to keep the area ventilated. Fumes can slowly build up and lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. If you have a fireplace or wood-burning stove, keep the flue free from snow and ice.
For added comfort, a pot of water on a stove or heater will add moisture to the air. This extra humidity will prevent chapped lips, dry skin and itchy noses. Putting a few drops of essential oil such as peppermint, cedar wood, eucalyptus and even cinnamon sticks will keep the house moist, fragrant and helps with sinus issues.