Have you ever been snowed in after an unexpected snowstorm? If so, did you have enough food and water to last? How about blankets after the power went off? It isn’t fun when you’re trying to figure out how to feed your family, how to stay warm and more while you’re dealing with large amounts of snow, cold temperatures and ice. When you live in a rural area it can take days for roads to be cleared enough for you to get to town. It becomes super important to be know how to prepare for unexpected snow and ice. Luckily, preparing for unexpected ice and snow isn’t as hard as other situations are to prepare for.
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How to Prepare for Unexpected Snow and Ice
Keep a food stockpile – While normally you would want to stockpile at least 3 days’ worth of food, when you’re preparing for snow and ice, you want to take that a step farther. Snow, ice and other winter weather conditions can often last longer than 3 days. Because of this, you’ll want to keep at least 2 weeks’ worth of food on hand. You’ll also want to make sure that the food you stockpile can be cooked without power just in case.
Choose from canned foods high in protein such as beans and vegetables. Make sure you have a can opener on hand as well or you have no way of opening your food items. A small gas operated stove may come in handy as well, such as a camping stove, so you can cook your food items easily and thoroughly.
Keep a water stockpile – Human beings can only go about 3 days without water so making sure that you have enough water on hand to keep your family in case your pipes freeze is incredibly important.
You should keep at least 5 gallons of water PER PERSON in your household. This should suffice for a few days should you lose water. Keep the water in a cool and dry place and make sure it has a secure cap o keep out bacteria. Always use it for drinking first before using it for washing/bathing. You’ll want to extra for pets, cooking, cleaning and other uses.
Blankets and other heating sources – When the power goes out and the temperatures drop, cold suddenly becomes very dangerous. To combat this danger, make sure that you have plenty of blankets, warm clothing and either a propane or kerosene heater to help keep your family warm. People freeze to death every year because they don’t take the is one simple precaution.
Make sure to store the appropriate tools – After the snow and ice stop falling, you may need to dig yourself out. If that is the case, you will need to have snow shovels, roof rakes and more on hand to do so. Not only that, but you’ll want to double check that you’ll have thick winter coats, gloves, hats and scarves on hand for when you go outside to do the work. Finally, keeping several bags of rock salt and/or kitty litter in storage will help you keep things from getting too slippery once you dig yourself out.
Have a lighting source on hand – There’s nothing worse than being in the dark when you don’t have to be. Keeping candles, flashlights and extra batteries on hand can help prevent that. When you’re dealing with snow and ice, the risk of falling is incredibly high and being in the dark only increases that risk.
Keep candles and matches in a dry an air tight container. These will come in handy if you experience a power outage or even if you need to create additional heat. Choose long burning, scentless candles and keep a variety of matches and lighters on hand.
Have a generator on hand – Finally, having a generator on hand and ready to go can eliminate a lot of the problems that come with snow and ice. It gives you a power source for cooking and heating, it can provide lighting and more. If you’re worried about having the gas or diesel to run your generator, you can opt for a solar option that runs off solar power. They’re more expensive, but you don’t need an outside power source other than the sun to run them.
A First Aid kit– You should at the very least keep a first aid kit on hand that includes band aids, antibacterial ointment, bandages, pain medications, and extras of any prescription medications you are on. Don’t forget pets as well. Be sure you include first aid items and medications for them as well.
Emergency contacts– Keep a book of emergency contacts in the case your phone dies. This way if you can get to a phone you can contact the necessary people.
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