Whether it is bitter cold weather, huge snow storms or winter rain storms, winter can bring a variety of weather to us that tests our ability to survive. By thinking about emergency preparedness for winter and taking the steps necessary to protect ourselves, we can all lessen the impact on our lives. In our last post about getting ready for winter we listed a number of areas for consumers to consider when getting ready for winter. In this post, Emergency Preparedness for Winter, we are going to focus on the emergency side of the question. Emergencies are when you have no power, no water and no way to get to safety. What do you do now to make your life easier in these situations?
Emergency Preparedness for Winter
Water -without electricity the water supply may not work. Cooking, cleaning, washing etc not to mention water for drinking will be in jeopardy. Make sure you have enough water stored up to supply your needs for several days unless you feel there is a chance that the outage will last longer.
Food -The same applies to storing food that will not deteriorate without refrigeration. Dried foods, although not that exciting are easy to store and will keep you from going hungry. You also do not need electricity either to prepare it.
Electricity – an electric generator is a handy thing to have if your power goes out often and stays out. Gas driven and hookups are required to ensure that you have enough electricity to run the basics can make the difference between an uncomfortable difficult period and one that is just ok. Make sure that the generator is always situated outside and that you have sufficient gasoline to run your generator for a few days.
Lights – candles, flashlights, batteries or at least wind up flashlights are a necessity. Your generator may provide enough power for a few lights, but you probably want to run the fridge on it to keep your food fresh. Have sufficient candles and dry matches for longer periods of darkness with no electrical power.
Heat – If you do not have a wood burning fireplace, you need to develop a plan to heat your home if the power will be off for a long period of time. No electricity means your furnace does not work and your electric hating does not work. Using propane heaters indoors can kill you so do not do that either. Running a gas generator outdoors and connecting it to the furnace and the fridge are probably the two main priorities. Make sure it generates sufficient power to handle both.
Evacuation – if there is a chance that you will need to evacuate, have an emergency pack ready, make sure the car is full of gas and know your escape route. Don’t wait until it is too late to get out. Leave early to avoid road congestion or blockages.
The above are the basic necessities to consider to get ready for any emergency. You need to asses what the worst thing is that will occur and then prepare for that situation. Since this particular post is focused on winter conditions, you may have to adapt it somewhat if you are concerned about flooding or high winds for example at other times of the year.