Family Preparedness in Winter Emergencies
With the New Year, comes the realization that we live in perilous times. What we’re going to do is pepper our blog with preparedness and “survival” tips so you have a resource to be informed and ready for whatever lies ahead.
Winter is sure to bring storms that will knock out power somewhere, sometimes for days or weeks. The weather forecasters don’t always get it right so a few simple preparations ahead of time will help ensure your well-being until normal conditions are restored.
- The most crucial and easiest preparation is to lay in a short-term food supply. On your next trip to the grocery store, buy a few extra containers of beef jerky, honey, peanut butter, or canned goods — whatever your family likes to eat that has a reasonably long shelf life. Write the contents of the cans and the date of purchase on the lids with a permanent marker, and put all in a cool, dark place.
- You’ll also need clean water, but the thin plastic gallon jugs sold at stores will not keep longer than a year before cracking. However, the 5-gallon carboys used in water coolers will last for years. Crystal Geyser’s one-gallon containers also last years, as do soft drink bottles. Just rinse them out, refill with tap water, and put with your food supply. Avoid storing plastics directly on concrete, which will hasten deterioration. Along with your food supply, pack in family medications and baby food to last for at least 96 hours.
- Put aside extra blankets, extra garbage bags, flashlights, a battery-powered radio and lantern, and batteries. Chemical light sticks are also handy. A Swiss army knife or Leatherman is essential.
- You might also need a shovel, crowbar, and the shutoff tool that fits your water hookup. Find out beforehand where your hookup is and how to use the tool.
- Keep an extra tank of propane on hand for your gas grill, but remember it must not be used indoors. (I prefer charcoal regardless of the weather! So having a couple big bags around doesn’t hurt.)
- Communications in an emergency are crucial, but under abnormally heavy use, cell-phone sites are quickly overloaded and knocked offline. DSL and cable lines also fail without power, so if your budget allows consider maintaining a land line and an old-fashioned plug-in phone.
- Keeping bulk paracord and duct tape available is also a good idea because you would be surprised at how situation arise where they would come in handy.
Finally, for more suggestions download a copy of our Free Paracord Tips eBook!
These are just a few things to consider now that you’ll be relieved to have if the need arises.