Be Prepared for Any Winter Storm

Winter storms and blizzards can be hard for anyone to handle. However, there are some things that can help everyone prepare. Whether it is surviving the physical conditions or the mental boredom from being kept inside, follow this guide to survive frigid weather.

Winter Storm Warning
Home Preparation

Having your home prepared for a winter storm is one of the most important things to do before a storm. Stocking up on extra supplies and essentials are important but so is making sure your actual house is ready to hold up against the storm. There are many ways and many things to check before you're ready. You can use this checklist as a preparation guide:

  1. Protect your pipes from freezing and be prepared to thaw them.
  2. Make sure your home heating sources are installed according to local codes and permit requirements.
  3. Make sure your house is properly insulated.
    • Caulk and weather-strip doors and windowsills to keep cold air out.
    • Install storm window or cover windows in plastic for an added layer of insulation.
  4. Consider buying emergency heating sources whether an electric or kerosene heater or a stove.
  5. Consider buying or renting a generator.
  6. If you have a fireplace, consider having a stockpile of wood or coal to burn.
  7. Have salt or non-clumping cat litter on hand to make steps and sidewalks less slippery.
  8. Make a grocery trip before a storm so that you won’t run low on food depending on how long the storm lasts.
  9. Keep a warm coat, mittens or gloves, a hat, water-resistant boots, and warm clothing readily available for everyone in your household.
Vehicle Preparation

Having your home ready is not the only way you can prepare for a winter storm. You never know when you’ll have an emergency or need to leave your home for any number of reasons. Preparing your vehicle is a quick thing that can make a big difference in how you handle winter storms. Follow this checklist to prepare your vehicle:

  1. Have a mechanic check your vehicle in preparation for winter.
    • Ignition system, battery, antifreeze, exhaust system, heater, brakes, defroster, oil, etc. (Having everything checked is the best way to be prepared).
    • Install good winter tires.
  2. Have a winter survival kit full of everything you need in a winter emergency.
  3. Keep a windshield scraper and broom in your vehicle.
  4. A small sack of sand for traction with tire chains or traction mats can help you out of slick situations.
  5. Keep your vehicle’s gas tank full.
Mental Health Help

Staying inside for prolonged periods can cause much boredom and even some tension as everyone comes down with a case of cabin fever. Having a few activities in your back pocket can mean the difference between a peaceful seclusion or an all-out crazy family to get on your nerves. Here’s a few ways to entertain everyone:

  1. Have some books on hand.
  2. Make a movie list to get through.
  3. Family game night!
  4. Start a puzzle.
  5. Cook or bake (and get your kids to help).
  6. Crafts and hobbies!
  7. Homemade science experiments.
  8. Build a fort.
  9. Dig out old coloring books and crayons.
  10. Do the things that you can't normally get done.

Surviving a winter storm can be one of the most overwhelming and mentally exhausting things to go through each winter. Whether you hate staying indoors or go a little out of your mind worrying - staying calm, being prepared, and having something to do can help you get through anything. 

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