Use these checklists to help you prepare for winter’s worst

Traffic in winter storm

When rough winter weather comes, you may have to stay where you are for several days. You could also be without power and heat for quite some time. So think through what three days without power, water, or heat would be like. These checklists of emergency supplies and actions you should take will help you prepare.

Emergency supplies for your home

  • ___ Water – Have at least one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days.
  • ___ Food – Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food for members of your household, including pets. Consider special dietary needs. And don’t forget to stock a non-electric can opener.
  • ___ Flashlight, radio and cell phone charger – Make sure you can charge them without electricity.
  • ___ Medical – Include a first aid kit, prescription and over-the-counter medications, and medical supplies.
  • ___ Sanitation – Pack hand sanitizer, towelettes, paper products, diapers, and plastic bags.
  • ___ Assistive technology – Include battery backup power for mobility devices, oxygen, and other technology.
  • ___ Extra clothing, blankets and sleeping bags
  • ___ Items for snow and ice – That includes rock salt, sand or kitty litter, snow shovels, and other snow removal equipment.
  • ___ Wood – Store a supply of dry seasoned wood if you have a working fireplace or wood-burning stove with a safe flue or vent.

Emergency supplies for your car

You never know when you’ll get stuck because of winter weather or an emergency road closure. So make sure your car is equipped with these:

  • ___ Water and snacks
  • ___ First aid kit
  • ___ Blanket
  • ___ Flashlight
  • ___ Cell phone charger
  • ___ Jumper cables
  • ___ Flares
  • ___ Bright colored flag or help signs
  • ___ Full tank of gas
  • ___ Tow rope
  • ___ Tire chanes or snow tires
  • ___ Bag of sand or kitty litter
  • ___ Shovel, ice scraper, snow brush
  • ___ Boots, gloves, warm clothes
  • ___ Canned compressed air with sealant for emergency tire repair
  • ___ Road maps and a compass
  • ___ Toolkit
  • ___ Waterproof matches and a can to melt snow for water

Heating checklist

  • ___ It is NOT safe to turn on the stove for heating. Have at least one of the following heat sources available in case the power goes off:
    • Extra blankets, sleeping bags, and warm winter coats
    • Fireplace with plenty of dry firewood or a gas log fireplace
    • Portable space heaters or kerosene heaters
  • ___ Check with your local fire department to make sure that kerosene heaters are legal in your area.
  • ___ Use only electric space heaters with automatic shut-off switches and non-glowing elements.
  • ___ Never place a space heater on top of furniture or near water.
  • ___ Never leave children unattended near a space heater.
  • ___ Keep heat sources at least three feet away from furniture and draperies.
  • ___ Have the following safety equipment handy:
    • Chemical fire extinguisher
    • Smoke alarm in working order. Check now and change batteries, if needed.
    • Carbon monoxide detector. Check now and change batteries, if needed.
  • ___ Never use an electric generator indoors, inside the garage, or near the air intake of your home because of the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • ___ Do not use the generator or appliances if they are wet.
  • ___ Do not store gasoline indoors where the fumes could ignite.
  • ___ Use individual, heavy-duty, outdoor-rated cords to plug in other appliances.
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