House covered in snow from winter storm.

Winter storms can bring freezing temperatures, snow, ice, and high winds which can knock out electrical power and delay deliveries of heating fuel. To prepare for a winter storm, make sure you have the following items on hand.

Items Needed for a Winter Storm:

  • Alternative heat source, such as a fireplace, wood stove, or kerosene heater.
  • Firewood for fireplaces or kerosene for portable space heaters.
  • Matches or 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, close off any unneeded rooms to minimize the amount of heated area, and avoid opening outside doors as much as possible. Make sure water pipes are insulated, and allow faucets to drip to prevent freezing.

Winter Storm Safety Tips:

  • Only use portable space heaters on a hard, level surface at least three 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 this video to find out more.

Further Information

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.

An alternate 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 the 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.

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.


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