I think winter may be on its way!! It snowed today and my kids thought it was really fun, but as adults we know how long winter can be. When it gets colder I always think about how we would cope if the power went out. I personally don't enjoy being cold and having no heat would sure make life uncomfortable. There are many ways of preparing for a cold weather emergency and I want to give you some ideas of what you could do before hand so you are well prepared.
Winter Preparation To Do List:
- Have a portable heater, such as a Mr. Buddy heater, kerosene heater and lamps with oil, or wood for a wood burning stove.
- Emergency radio: crank or battery operated. Store it in a location that is easy to access and always have extra batteries.
- If possible have a generator. A 5000 watt generator will run almost any appliance. It has a 6 gallon gas tank that will run for 14 hours.
- During the winter if it is cold enough outside you can put food in coolers and leave them by your back door. Store coolers that will fit the food you typically have in your freezer and fridge.
- A great way to stay warm is to pitch a tent in your living room or other room with a heat source. The kids will probably enjoy this, but it is to keep the most heat in the area you are all sleeping.
- Sleeping bags and warm weather clothing. I recently stood in line for 2 hours (by choice) in a snow storm and wore long underwear to keep warm. I thought I was going to be cold but I didn't feel cold and I know it was the long underwear. Have a pair for everyone in your family. Wool socks also kept my toes from freezing! Hats, gloves, coats, scarves, socks, and warm sleeping bags are all important for every member of your family.
- A To Do Box of non-electric games, toys, coloring books, cards, jump ropes, paper, pens, pencils, etc to keep everyone occupied during a power outage. I know that my kids nagging me with "I'm bored" would literally drive me insane if I had to hear it all day long. Keep a box ready for power outages or emergencies to save everyone from boredom.
- A great idea that I got from somewhere (I can't remember, sorry) is to have a menu written out, BEFORE the emergency, with the meals you could make if the power was out. Have at least a weeks worth ready to go. If you have a small butane stove you would probably have meals like soups, stews, or rice dishes. Or if you have a Volcano Stove you could grill, or bake a dish. Knowing what your menu will be will alleviate the stress of making food when it is cold, dark, and miserable!!
- Have a corded land line phone in your home. When the power goes out so do your cordless phones. Cell phones may or may not work in an emergency.
- Snow shovels are also an item that will be gone from stores when a storm hits. Have 1 or 2 shovels ready in your garage.
Before the Storm:
If you know a storm is approaching there are a few things you can do to prepare your family. I am assuming you already will have food and water.
- Put gas in your car.
- Do the laundry and dishes and put away. Folding laundry in the dark is never fun :)
- Charge all phones, DS games, computers, dvd players, ipods, etc.
- If you have a wood burning stove or fireplace, have all the wood cut and placed in an area that is easy to access.
- Get out all flashlights, batteries, candles, and matches so you aren't searching in the dark for light.
- Bathe and shower the kids and yourself. Starting off clean will make life more pleasant for everyone. :)
- Make sandwiches, gather some soup cans, or cook some food if the power is expected to go out. I would pull out some snacks and keep them out so we don't have to search in the dark for food.
IF you aren't prepared for any emergency I would then tell you to get yourself to the store and buy food, water, flashlights, and batteries. Although so will most of the general population, so go early to get any kind of a selection.
If you travel frequently during the winter months it is important to have a car kit in your vehicle. Click HERE to view a previous post on winter weather preparation and car kits.
"Have faith, unemcomber your life, lay up in store"-Keith B. McMullen