To stay warm during power outages, you need to prepare well before a winter storm. (©Sunny studio, Adobe Stock Photos)

Winter storms can bring freezing temperatures, snow, ice and high winds, which can knock out electrical power and delay deliveries of heating fuel. If you want to stay warm despite these inconveniences, you need to prepare well in advance.

So, make sure you have the following items on hand.

Items Needed to Survive a Winter Storm and Stay Warm

  • Alternative heat source, such as a fireplace, wood stove or kerosene heater.
  • Firewood for fireplaces or kerosene for portable space heaters.
  • Matches and a lighter.
  • Extra blankets, quilts and comforters.
  • Flashlights and battery-powered lamps.
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio.
  • Extra batteries.
  • Two- or three-day supply per person of bottled water and non-perishable food.
  • Charged cell phone.
  • Battery or auto cell phone charger.
  • Portable power device, such as a gas-powered generator, or a backup whole-house generator.

If you’re without heat during a winter storm, here’s a trick to stay warm: Close the doors to any unneeded rooms. This will minimize the area you’re heating with alternative sources. In addition, avoid opening outside doors as much as possible.

Finally, make sure water pipes are insulated and allow faucets to drip to prevent pipes from freezing.

Winter Storm Safety Tips

  • Only use portable space heaters on a hard, level surface.
  • Always keep space heaters at least 3 feet away from any flammable materials.
  • Never leave children or pets unsupervised when a space heater or fireplace is in use.
  • Be sure to keep a fire extinguisher nearby, and know how to use it.

Watch the video above to find out more ways to stay warm during a winter storm!


Danny Lipford: Most of us look forward to spending a day or two inside at home when the weather outside is cold and miserable.

But in the event of a severe winter storm, that vacation may be more of a necessity than a luxury.

Severe winter storms are more than inconvenient, they often knock out electrical power and delay deliveries of heating fuel in some cases.

That underscores the importance of planning ahead for possible emergencies so you can prevent as much difficulty and discomfort as possible, and stay warm.

An alternative heat source, like a fireplace or a kerosene space heater, is a great solution; but you’ll want to make sure it is properly vented and that you have plenty of firewood or fuel on hand.

Then you can close off any unneeded rooms to minimize the amount of space you’re trying to heat. You should also avoid opening any of the exterior doors to preserve the heat that you do have.

Of course, it’s always a good idea to have flashlights, a radio, and extra batteries on hand; but you should also have a least two- to three-day supply of water and non-perishable foods to tide you over until they get all the roads cleared.

Now, foods that don’t require cooking and provide lots of energy are the best ones to have on hand. After all, you need to stay warm, but you also need to stay nourished.

Finally, when you know rough weather is headed your way, charge up that cell phone, since that may be the only means of communication you have after the storm.

Further Information

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Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio,, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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