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Now that the winter weather has arrived, its important to be prepared for whatever Mother Nature can throw at us. In the winter months, weather emergencies typically consist of snow, ice, power outages, or burst pipes. I think it is important to be prepared, however being prepared shouldn’t happen in the 48 hours leading up to a storm or weather event. When you wait to prepare until the last minute, you end up going into stores that are sold out of generators, where grocery shelves have been cleared, and the supplies you need to keep you and your family safe and comfortable are no longer available.
Weather Emergencies – At Home
Take the time now to prepare. Simple steps like making sure you have enough heating oil, fire wood, and gas for your car/generator are relatively easy to take care of well enough in advance. Don’t run out of your medications. Keep a shovel and salt in the house so you can clear a path to get out of the house. Make sure to have candles/flashlights available with plenty of new batteries. Its also important to have a basic first aid kit on hand (you should have one of these no matter what, even if instead of a kit its a shoebox of stuff in the linen closet). For winter weather emergencies, I like to also have hand warmers like you use when you are camping and extra blankets out of storage.
In addition, pick up several bottles of water, an average of 2 gallons per person per day is recommended & it is best to have a 3-day supply on hand. Bottled water doesn’t go bad, so keeping a few gallon jugs in the bottom of your pantry or a coat closet won’t hurt. Also, try to make sure you keep your pantry filled with items that are easy to prepare in case of a power outage or that you have an alternate cooking source available for those who usually cook on an electric range.
Weather Emergencies – On the Go
You should also plan on being prepared in your car, not just at home, in case you get stuck in bad weather suddenly while you are out. Hand warmers, emergency blankets, a flash light, a small first aid kit, bottled water, and snacks can be kept in a tote in the trunk or back seat so that they are accessible. If you usually have your children in the car with you, make sure you have enough extras for them as well.
- Red Cross Emergency Preparedness
- Be Red Cross Ready – Power Outage Checklist
- New Jersey Office of Emergency Management
- National Weather Service – Mt. Holly, NJ
- National Hurricane Center
- Three Steps to being prepared for an emergency
- Ready PA
I hope that all Happily Homegrown readers stay safe this winter, and take the time to become aware of how your family can be prepared for the emergencies that you face.