Preparing for Winter Storms

Brace Yourself for Winter

It's officially winter and with winter comes inclement weather, with temperatures dipping into the single digits or even below zero in many areas. Snow storms are not uncommon and, depending upon where you live, blizzards can be a semi-regular occurrence; yet it is amazing how many people live under these conditions for decades and seem to be caught off guard when the worst weather hits. Frostbite, hypothermia and even freezing deaths are not uncommon in certain places, but there are steps that you can take to prepare yourself for the worst winter storms.

Preparing Your Home

There is always the possibility in the worst storms that local stores will be closed. Even if they remain open the local roads may be impassable. It is essential that you are prepared to remain indoors for at least 24 hours and possibly, as much as 3 to 4 days. In order to prepare your home to ride out the storm, you might consider the following tips:

Make sure you always have a supply of frozen and canned goods available

Stock up on toilet paper

Have batteries, flashlights, candles and matches in case of power outages

Keep enough gasoline and oil available for your snowblower

Clean out your garage if needed to assure that you can park vehicles inside

Have at least one change of warm clothes clean and available. This should include clothing that can be worn in layers as they keep you warmer. You'll need them for shoveling and outdoor activities.

Keep an extra blanket on each bed

Preparing Your Car

There are a few essentials that you need to keep in your trunk during winter months. It is important to try to keep the gas tank at least half full during the coldest weather to help keep lines from freezing. As you consider how to prepare your car, as yourself the following questions:

What would I do if I got a flat tire in this weather?

What would I do if I slid into a ditch?

What would happen if I ran out of gas?

Other tips include:

A collapsible shovel

A large bag a kitty litter (For tire traction in icy conditions. It helps get cars unstuck)

A long handled ice scraper with brush

An electric ice scraper

An extra outfit including socks, pants, boots, gloves, scarf, hat, and sweater

A quilted blanket or rolled up sleeping bag

An extra bottle of Heat for your gas tank (keeps lines from freezing in extremely cold temps)

Keep a flashlight in your glovebox

Keep a few space blankets in your glove box

Keep a bottle of deicer in your glove box

Make sure your tires are properly inflated in advance. This includes your spare tire!

Always assure that you have a cell phone available and fully charged when driving in this weather

Pay attention to mile markers and street signs when driving. If you must call for help, it'll give you a better chance of letting others know where you are. Of course it's ideal to have a GPS unit or cell phone with GPS

Leave at least three car lengths between you and the car in front of you in icy conditions

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Comments 16 comments

Donna Janelle profile image

Donna Janelle 6 years ago from Oklahoma

These are great tips! We just had an awful blizzard here in Oklahoma where I live and I wasn't able to leave the house for two days. Having the extra essentials on hand definitely helps! Especially if you have them at least a day ahead of time, and don't have to fight the crowds at the store right before the storm hits :) Great hub!

Jaynie2000 profile image

Jaynie2000 6 years ago Author

Thanks Donna Janelle. We just had a large storm here as well. Thank goodness we were prepared. I have to admit, I love these huge storms, but if I had been caught with an empty pantry and gas tank, I'd be less thrilled.

gguy profile image

gguy 6 years ago from new jersey usa

Here in southern New England its been a toughone snow tomorrow, another storm on Thursday, keeping a lot of alcohol on hand is a good idea too!! LOL

gguy profile image

gguy 6 years ago from new jersey usa

Just wanted to make it clear, the last comment was for snowy nights at home, NOT for the car!!!

Jaynie2000 profile image

Jaynie2000 6 years ago Author

LOL. I hear ya. And I agree. Good luck with that snow storm.

gguy profile image

gguy 6 years ago from new jersey usa

Jaynie, Thanks,check out my hub if you get a chance, wrote it to stir up some controversy!!LOL

DJ, heard some people drove off a bridge, so sad

Jaynie2000 profile image

Jaynie2000 6 years ago Author

Will do.

gguy profile image

gguy 6 years ago from new jersey usa

Looks like we dodged this one, raining now. Another good thing for bad weather/ emergencies is the on star system in GM cars, they are going to start selling a retrifit system this spring also.

cwarden profile image

cwarden 6 years ago from USA

You all have storm preparations for your winter, just as we do in the south for hurricanes. Yet every time a major storm hits it amazes me that there are people that have no water to drink the very next day. Great hub - I hope more people prepare in your neck of the woods! Stay warm!

Jaynie2000 profile image

Jaynie2000 6 years ago Author

Thanks. It's true. There are always folks in every corner of the world who are ill-prepared for their weather crises. Many are transplants from other areas, but some are just bad planners, I guess.

gguy profile image

gguy 6 years ago from new jersey usa

In southern New England we get the best of both worlds,hurricanes and blizzards!

Jaynie2000 profile image

Jaynie2000 6 years ago Author

And we get tornados and blizzards. I love them both!

gguy profile image

gguy 6 years ago from new jersey usa

Yeah, I am a bit of a weather nut myself, but really getting tired of winter now, it's 12 degrees this morning. I am hoping a project I have coming up in Florida comes through soon!

Jaynie2000 profile image

Jaynie2000 6 years ago Author

It's 3 degrees here and below zero with the wind chill. Pretty icy in both places. I'm up for a tropical getaway!

epigramman profile image

epigramman 6 years ago

....well I prepare for winter storms by making my favorite Cinnamon spice tea, staying inside and keeping warm by the golden glow of your hubs - and yes I love your selection of romantic songs - I personally love people like Leonard Cohen, Kate Bush, and Nick Cave ......

Jaynie2000 profile image

Jaynie2000 6 years ago Author

Nice ideas. Thanks for sharing!

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