If you live in an area likely to get hit with winter storms, don’t wait until a blizzard is forecasted to begin making winter preparations. Icy roads are one of the greatest risks to your safety during a snowstorm. Proper winter preparedness will help prevent you from needing to venture out for basic supplies or, worse yet, from getting snowed in without emergency necessities. As the cold sets in, follow these winter survival tips to ensure you are ready when the next storm strikes.
Don’t Get Caught in the Dark
Strong winds and heavy snow often lead to downed power lines. Winter preparedness means having flashlights, batteries, candles and matches or lighters on hand at all times.
Stock Up to Stay In
Before the storm hits, you’ll want stock up on the things you’ll need to eat, drink, stay comfortable and remain informed. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends having enough supplies to get you through 72 hours. Here are some fundamental things to think about during your winter preparation:
Food: Loss of power can prevent you from cooking and using the water in your home. As part of your winter preparation, stock up on bottled water and foods that can be consumed without cooking. Make sure you have enough food and water for pets, as well. If you take a daily prescription, check your remaining doses to ensure they will last you through the storm.
Warmth: Gather supplies to ensure you can keep warm in the event that heat becomes unavailable. Your winter preparedness checklist should include blankets and changes of clothing. If you have a wood-burning fire place or stove, collect enough wood for a few days of constant burning.
Communication: Telephone communication via landline may not be reliable during a storm, and if the power goes out, charging your cell phone will not be an option. Consider purchasing a back-up battery for at least one cell phone in your home. You should also have a radio with enough batteries to keep it running for a few days. This will help you stay updated on current weather conditions (and may also provide some entertainment in the event the electricity is out).
Prepare to Dig Out
Make sure you have the items you need to clear the snow outside your home. To make this job as easy as possible, you should have a shovel, salt or another ice-melting product and a snow blower. MTD snow blowers are designed to help you clear snow quickly and easily. As part of your winter preparation, make sure your snow blower is tuned up and ready to go. To maximize the performance of your machine, replace any worn or damaged snow blower parts before winter arrives.