Is it just me, or are our winters becoming worse every year? Lately, it certainly has felt that way. Last year, here in Eastern Canada, we had a winter of epic proportions.
From mid-January until the end of March, here in southern New Brunswick, we received more than 17 feet of snow. Yes, you read that correctly, 17 FEET!
And this year, there was the recent massive snowstorm that paralyzed the eastern United States. Leaving in its wake, flooding, massive snowfall, power outages, travel restrictions and food & water shortages.
I took this photo in mid-February of last year. We had several significant snowstorms after this was taken.
I thought it would be timely to review winter preparedness measures. That way, we will all be ready for those increasingly frequent blows from Mother Nature.
Winter Emergency Preparedness
1.) Water ~ You need a minimum of a four-day supply. (Longer if you live in a more remote location.)
- Allow for at least 3-4 litres per day, per person.
- If, like us, your water supply is from a well, before a storm:
- Fill clean, sealed containers with drinking water.
- Fill bathtubs with water to use for washing and flushing toilets.
2.) Food ~ You need a minimum of a four-day supply. (Longer if you live in a more remote location.)
- Food that doesn’t need heating or refrigeration.
- Such as Canned meats, soups and stews, cereal, energy bars, bread and toppings, crackers, dried fruit.
- Baby food and formula, if applicable.
- Pet food, if applicable
- Manual can opener.
- Paper plates, cups and plastic utensils. (If you have limited water and no way to heat it, you don’t want to be doing dishes)
- Never use charcoal grills or portable gas camp stoves indoors. The fumes are deadly.
3.) Cell Phone ~ Charge cell phones before a storm and keep a portable charger handy.
4. ) Battery-powered or crank radio (with extra batteries).
5.) Ideally, an alternate heating source:
- Woodstove or fireplace with plenty of dry firewood.
- Portable generator.
- Never use indoors or near air intakes.
6.) Battery-powered or crank flashlights and lanterns (with extra batteries).
7.) Well-stocked first-aid kit ~ A fishing tackle box or a rectangular sealed plastic container makes an ideal first-aid kit.
8.) Chemical fire extinguisher
9.) Battery powered smoke alarms (with extra batteries).
10.) Prescription drugs ~ During winter months, in case of a winter storm, make sure your supply is always sufficient to last until drug stores reopen.
11.) Tools and Materials for Emergency Repairs ~ For example, a tree branch falls and breaks a window. Some tools and materials to have on hand include:
- Snow shovel/Snow scoop
- Hand saw
- Staple gun
- Heavy duty plastic sheeting
- Duct tape
12.) Have some extra cash on hand ~ Banking machines could be down or you may not have access to them. You never know when you will be forced to leave your home and a little cash may come in handy.
13.) Heavy blankets and clothing ~ I can tell you first hand, without proper heat, your home will cool down VERY quickly.
Preparing your vehicle for storm conditions is an entirely different list, but suffice to say, if possible, stay home. You should, however, make sure that your vehicles are fully fuelled in the event they are needed.
None of us enjoy these lengthy and sometimes very expensive disruptions to our lives, but by planning ahead, we can, at least, make the intolerable a little bit more bearable.
Have you ever been stranded in your vehicle or home during a winter storm?
Have you ever lost power during a winter storm?
Tell me all about it, I would love to hear your stories!