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?

1 laura February 22, 2013 at 6:06 PM

We had a bad ice storm when our youngest was 6 months old. The power was out for about 4 days. We ended up going to my parents’ house about an hour away. All the hotels around us were full.
Someday soon we will have a gas generator. Last Winter we had no snow at all so no worries. We did get a lot of rain and a flooded basement. Now we have a battery backup for the Sump Pump.
laura recently posted..My Guilty Pleasure: Crap TVMy Profile

2 laura February 22, 2013 at 6:08 PM

That’s the same storm we had…wow 17 days!! Now we’d probably stay home and I’d use our camp stove. We’ve camped in a tent with it being in the 30’s so we’d be okay now at home.
laura recently posted..My Guilty Pleasure: Crap TVMy Profile

3 Ellen Christian February 23, 2013 at 8:54 AM

Great suggestions. Living in Vermont, we get a lot of winter storms. We make sure we are stocked up on food for us and the pets as well as first aid supplies. You never know what you might need.
Ellen Christian recently posted..Dr Seuss Birthday IdeasMy Profile

4 Lindsey G February 23, 2013 at 9:29 AM

Great advice! We don’t have to really deal with a lot of winter storms or emergencies, but it’s a running joke in the South to run to the store for “White Bread and Milk”! :)
Lindsey G recently posted..What Do You Think About Toddlers Learning a Second Language?My Profile

5 Nikki February 23, 2013 at 11:10 AM

We live in a bad area for storms, and this is all great advice. After we lost power for 8 days with Sandy, I’m always prepared now.
Nikki recently posted..Nobody Has to Know Book Tour: Bump the StickersMy Profile

6 Emily February 23, 2013 at 2:20 PM

We lost power for 10 hours during Winter Storm Nemo – it was due to the heavy wet snow on many of the lines in our area. We have a gas grill (for cooking), but no alternate source of heat. The temperature in our house fell to 55 degrees. Since the storm, we’ve been looking for gas fireplaces and are considering a generator!
Emily recently posted..Debuting Our Blog RedesignMy Profile

7 Nancy Luebke February 23, 2013 at 3:49 PM

The same hurricane that tore up new Orleans, sent its wind up our way. It broke off telepone and light poles, Our community was without power just over a week. We were on vacation visiting family, and if we had come home a day earlier, we would have drove right into it, and then would have been stranded. Our own home is in a sheltered valley and was fine except for power. We invested in a gas generator and was able to hook up the refrigerator and freezer. Those cold showers were a bit much but at least we had water. In hindsight, we wish we would have gotten a bigger generator.

8 Karen February 23, 2013 at 3:50 PM

These are great tips as we have another storm approaching. REALLY hoping we don’t need to use them :)
Karen recently posted..Sopapilla CheesecakeMy Profile

9 mryjhnsn
Twitter:
February 24, 2013 at 11:17 AM

Holy cow! It is hard to imagine a life without electricity but thanks for the reminder to be prepared!
mryjhnsn recently posted..Oh for the Love of Pinterest! Issue 4My Profile

10 Angela February 24, 2013 at 12:40 PM

Although we’ve had a very mild winter in Georgia, it’s still good to be prepared. Great suggestions!
Angela recently posted..Easy Home Repairs That Will Save MoneyMy Profile

11 Kecia February 24, 2013 at 2:43 PM

Being in the south we typically don’t lose power for snow (or even get snow at all, some winters!) but I agree it’s always good to be prepared. We have lots of candles and flashlights, should we need them. I need to look into getting a heater to use if the power went out as well!
Kecia recently posted..Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Rise of the Turtles on DVD 2/26My Profile

12 Tazim
Twitter:
February 24, 2013 at 5:48 PM

Definitely good to be prepared for the worst – we don’t get many snow storms, but rain warnings need to be prepared for, still.

13 Lena February 24, 2013 at 11:35 PM

As much as I understand that this is hard time for everyone, but I can’t stop be amazed how pretty it is
Lena recently posted..How Not to Look Stupid Falling Off the BikeMy Profile

14 Cecile February 25, 2013 at 11:58 AM

We definitely need an alternate form of heating. I wish we had a fireplace!
Cecile recently posted..Samsung Chromebook Giveaway!My Profile

15 Tiffany C.
Twitter:
February 25, 2013 at 2:06 PM

This winter instead of sleet and snow we are getting overloads of rain. Geez. It seems never ending.
Tiffany C. recently posted..March Photo A Day Challenge 2013 #7SDDPhotoADayMy Profile

16 Linette February 25, 2013 at 3:58 PM

We had an ice storm last week. We’re all prepared with a generator, wood burning stove, propane for the grill, water, and plenty of candles! A couple years ago we had no power for almost a week after an ice storm came through, so now we’re prepared!
Linette recently posted..How To Make a Glinda The Good Doll Cake- Oz The Great and PowerfulMy Profile

17 Stacey
Twitter:
February 25, 2013 at 4:09 PM

Nice to see a practical list…it seems like people in our area run to the store and stock up on milk and bread but nothing else! They have no way of dealing with the important issues like heat and electricity!
Stacey recently posted..Saturday Spark – Let the Games Begin!My Profile

18 Amber K
Twitter:
February 25, 2013 at 7:10 PM

I wish I was a prepper, but sadly I’m one of those “deal with it when it happens” types.
Amber K recently posted..Clean Up with Windex Touch Up CleanerMy Profile

19 Maria February 26, 2013 at 3:02 PM

It’s nice to be able to prep for a storm, any storm! However this summer we had a microburst in our area and no warning. There were a total of 10 telephone poles broken in half, and more than 20 trees completely uprooted just in a 3 block radius! It was bad!
Maria recently posted..Diverticulitis: What You Need to Know When It Affects a Family MemberMy Profile

20 candice February 26, 2013 at 6:45 PM

we are getting yet another storm tonight! is winter over yet?
candice recently posted..Chobani Banana Muffins | Tasty TuesdayMy Profile

21 Wenie Langacre February 26, 2013 at 7:12 PM

Yes, those three are indeed very necessary when it comes to winter preparations. Maybe for me, food and drinks and heating is the most important thing. I would also recommend that you also have some medicines in your medicine kit cos we never know what will happen and you can’t go out to buy one.
Wenie Langacre recently posted..A Brief Guide to Building and Renovating in QueenslandMy Profile

22 Darcy February 26, 2013 at 9:34 PM

We were without power for about a week or more after a bad straight line wind storm in 99 or 2000. We lost so much food it was bad. Despite living in WI all my life we’ve never really prepared that thoroughly for winter storms. Stores are always busy right before a big one though as everyone stocks up in water.
Darcy recently posted..Refreshing My Look at Bella Lei Salon SpaMy Profile

23 janet February 26, 2013 at 11:59 PM

These are great tips, and there is a part of me that wishes I “had” to do some of this. But I’m in Texas so not much of a chance. My husband is from Michigan and always misses the snow.
janet recently posted..5 steps to a 5 minute DIY haircut {layers for long hair}My Profile

24 Brandy Myers
Twitter:
February 27, 2013 at 9:59 AM

What great tips. Living in rural Colorado we try to be prepared for anything mother nature throws at us but have never had to worry about going without for more than a few hours. I couldn’t imagine days!
Brandy Myers recently posted..The Jungle Book: Rumble In The Jungle Makes Movie Night PerfectMy Profile

25 Dawn
Twitter:
March 2, 2013 at 12:27 PM

Grilling all of your food so that it doesn’t go bad is a great idea. What did you do with the food after you grilled it? Or did you only have what you could eat?

Dawn

26 Elleberra
Twitter:
March 9, 2013 at 3:39 PM

We had the neighbors over for dinner! There were six of us here at the time too. Some of it we just kept and ate as long as it was good. It was cold enough outside that we could keep it for a bit out there(refrigerator not working) so long as we put it where the dogs couldn’t get at it.
Elleberra recently posted..Climb On!® Lip Tube And Creme ReviewMy Profile

27 Julie Wood November 8, 2013 at 8:18 AM

I need to prepare for winter storms because we had an ice storm in November of 2006. I did not lose electricity, but hundreds of people in my town did. My family lost electricity and I helped them out with having them stay at my house. My families electricity was out for 10 days. But, I need to do some of the things that you talk about in this post. Thanks for the tips!

28 felicia sidoma November 9, 2013 at 2:19 AM

I grew up in Tucson AZ. so I never had to worry about a bad winter. Then i moved to Portland OR. The first year I was there we had a ice storm. Boy did I learn quick about snow and Ice. How to stay warm. Stocking up with food and water. I was lucky I and family help the first year because if I did not have their help I do not know if I would have made it that first winter. I am back in Tucson due to illness. The Dr. suggested that I move back to Tucson. I do miss the snow sometimes. But I know how lucky I am not having to deal with all the problems that come to having a real winter

29 Sarah L November 22, 2013 at 9:28 PM

Good tips. I have a good supply of food and water and lights and batteries.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post:

Subscribe