Most of us know a well-stocked pantry and fridge is in order when it comes to winter weather advisories, but emergency supplies for communication, safety, heating and cars are every bit as important. Here is a checklist to keep you and your family prepared for winter weather.
· Bad winter storms often bring power outages. Be sure you have a cell phone, portable charger and extra batteries in the event of a power outage. A battery-powered radio with extra batteries will allow you to listen to local stations for emergency instructions. A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radio receiver is ideal so you can tune into National Weather Service broadcasts.
· Have a family communication plan so you know how to contact each other, how you’ll get back together and what you’ll do during an emergency.
· Check in on your elderly neighbors and give assistance when necessary.
· Have extra blankets, sleeping bags, and warm winter coats on hand.
· Have dry firewood ready or a gas log fireplace.
· Have portable space heaters or kerosene heaters (check your local fire department to make sure kerosene heaters are legal) at the ready.
· Make sure your smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detectors have fresh batteries and are in working order.
· Have battery-powered flashlights or lanterns ready.
· If possible, opt for battery powered candles rather than lit candles to prevent house fire.
Depending on the severity of the storm, it’s best to have a week’s worth of food. Make sure you have the following:
· Drinking water
· Canned/no-cook food (bread, crackers, dried fruits)
· Non-electric can opener
· Baby food and formula (if baby in the household)
· Prescription drugs and other medicine
Your family’s safety is important. Snow and ice on sidewalks and driveways are safety hazards. Be sure to have the following on hand.
· First-aid kit
· Rock-salt to melt ice on walkways
· Supply of cat litter or bag of sand to add traction on walkways
In Your Car
If you have no choice and must go out in the weather, be sure to have your car ready with the following items.
· Cell phone, portable charger, and extra batteries
· Windshield scraper
· Battery-powered radio and extra batteries
· Flashlight and extra batteries
· Snack food
· Extra hats, coats, and mittens
· Chains or rope
· Tire chains
· Canned compressed air with sealant for emergency tire repair
· Road salt and sand
· Booster cables
· Emergency flares
· Bright colored flag or help signs
· First aid kit
· Tool kit
· Road maps
· Waterproof matches and can to melt snow for water
· Paper towels