The UK has been hit hard by Winter storms over the past couple weeks, and Paris is the latest city to be shut down by wintry weather. Our holiday season in the US has been milder so far, but if you do find yourself snowed in like the Parisians at some point this Winter, here are some crucial items to have on hand.
- Nonperishable food and drinking water: Snowy and icy conditions are a recipe for power outages and road closures, so stock up on drinking water and canned or dried goods! And if you have any furry friends in your home, make sure you have plenty of pet food, as well.
- Manual can opener: All those goodies won't do you much good if you can't open them! Make sure you have a hand can opener available, not just an electric one.
- Matches, candles, and flashlights: If a storm knocks out your power, the last thing you want to do is fumble in the dark for a light source. Keep flashlights, boxes of matches, and plenty of candles — I like these super cheap tea lights from Ikea — in an easily accessible spot in case the lights go out.
- Fully-charged laptop: Even if the power goes out, your laptop's battery can provide you with at least a couple hours of communication and entertainment during a big storm.
- Radio: If a snowstorm has hit your area, you'll need a quick way to get news about closures and other safety issues. And if you're thinking to yourself, "Isn't that what the Internet's for?" just remember that power outages can mean dead laptops and uncharged iPhones, too.
Keep reading for more tips!
- Wood: If your home has a fireplace or a wood-burning stove, be sure to bring in plenty of dry wood before the storm to keep the home fires burning.
- Blankets and warm clothes: If your home relies on gas or electric heat, on the other hand, you'll need a backup method for staying warm in case the power goes out. Keep plenty of warm blankets, sweaters, and even hats, coats, and gloves around the house in case you need to bundle up during an outage.
- First-aid kit: Being snowed in means trips to the drug store and even the hospital may be out of the question, so stock up on necessary supplies. Keep a basic first-aid kit on hand, and keep an extra stash of any prescription medications your family may need.
- Camping stove: Cold beans out of a can are nobody's idea of a good time, so if you don't have another heat source that can be used for cooking, consider bringing your camping stove indoors during a snowstorm. One important note: camp stoves can emit carbon monoxide, so if you're using one indoors, you must do so in an extremely well-ventilated area. This means directly in front of an open door or window, or better yet, just outside on the porch!
- Shovel: Even if you don't plan on heading out and braving the elements during a snowstorm, it's a good idea to clear the area around your front door so you can get out if you need to, and so rescue workers can get in if there's an emergency.
Have you ever braved a serious snowstorm? Got any tips to add?