Preparing For Winter Storms

February 22, 2013

Ice on tree limbs.Ice can really do a number on the electrical lines. And the cable lines too. If it is this thick on the trees then it is just as bad on everything else.

So how do you prepare for a winter storm?

Heating

Make sure you have some way of keeping warm if the electricity goes out. If you already have a gas stove or heater then you are set. If not…you might be in trouble if you wait till you need it.

The winter storm of 2009 caught me unprepared…we had to go to multiple stores looking for heaters and ended up stuck with a kerosene heater for a bit. They do heat well but the smell gave me a headache and they are a bit harder to use than propane heaters.

It was days before we able to find a propane heater and lots of places were out of full propane tanks too. It is much easier if you already have a heater and a tank.

Light

You also need to make sure you have an alternate source of light. Especially if you are a reader like me. With no television or internet…you are definitely going to need something else to keep you busy and sane. This is a good time for board games or card games too. You need light for those too!

So a good supply of long burning candles for general lighting is good to have. And you should get them before you need them too because the stores will run out during an actual emergency. There were no candles to be found anywhere for days after the storm of ’09. Lamp oil was also in short supply so if you have lamps (better for reading than candles!) make sure you have some extra lamp oil on hand too.

And batteries for flash lights can be really expensive and in short supply as well…so it is a good idea to keep some on hand.

Food and cooking

You will also need a way to cook your food for a few days. If you already have a gas stove then you are set! If like us your place is all electric then you will have a problem.  You can use a propane BBQ grill if you have one and have the propane too. Or a small camp stove. In the storm of ’09 we did both.

Since the freezer wasn’t working we grilled all the meat we could and lots of boiled foods for the first few days. It helps to have items that easy to fix. If your power is only out for a short time you may not need to worry about this. Ours was out for 17 days in ’09.

Much of this will be true for other kinds of emergencies too. You may also need to have a supply of water on hand for some. It wouldn’t hurt anyway.

What have you done to prepare for storms and other emergencies?