Emergency PreparednessHow to Prepare for a Winter Storm

How to Prepare for a Winter Storm

This in depth article of How to Prepare for a Winter Storm is full of suggestions of ways to prepare your homestead, car and family for intense weather. Having enough water storage in case of frozen plumbing pipes, alternative ways of cooking and heating in case of a power outage, emergency preparedness kit for you vehicle because in a storm towing services or family may not be able to reach you quickly … these are just a few issues raised but luckily solutions are offered.

How to Prepare for a Winter Storm

Gathering supplies ahead of time can make a stressful experience go more smoothly and you may even find it to become a family bonding experience. (Yes, I try to look on the bright side of most things)


Start with an easy to carry, watertight container – a large, plastic trash can will do, or you can line a sturdy cardboard box with a couple of trash bags. Next, gather the following items and place them in your kit:

Water: 1 gallon per person per day. Do not forget your pets water needs.

Water purification kit or bleach (use eight drops of regular bleach per gallon of water)

Essential medications

First-aid kit that includes:
–  sterile dressing
– self adhering elastic bandage
–  sterile gauze pads
–  alcohol-based sanitizing and wipes
– latex gloves
– adhesive tape
– anti-bacterial ointment
– cold pack
–  blunt tip scissors
– Tweezers
– non-prescription drugs
– first-aid book

Ready-to-eat (MRE’S), non-perishable foods, such as canned meats, granola bars, instant soup and cereals, fruits and vegetables, canned or box juices, peanut butter, jelly, crackers, granola bars, trail mix, bread and any special dietary items you and your family need.

Manual can opener

Baby supplies: formula, bottle, pacifier, soap, baby powder, clothing, blankets, baby wipes, disposable diapers, canned food and juices

Food, water, leash and carrier for pets If you plan to go to a shelter, remember that most do not allow pets. Make other plans for your pets. If you leave your pets unattended, they could die.

Sanitary Items:
– Baby wipes
– Toilet paper
– Shampoo
– Rubber gloves
– Dawn dish soap
– Toothbrushes and toothpaste
– Feminine hygiene supplies
– Household bleach for cleaning
– Black plastic trash bags for waste

Blanket or sleeping bag per person

Cash and change
change of clothing
Fire extinguisher
Extra house and car keys
Extra pair of eyeglasses
Flashlight and extra batteries
Extra pair of sturdy shoes
Battery-powered, portable radio and extra batteries

Prepare your paperwork

Print this checklist and keep it inside your waterproof bag to help you collect the items listed below:

Driver’s license, photo ID
Emergency contact list or address book (even if contacts are stored in a smartphone)
Insurance policies (health, home, auto)
Vital documents (birth certificates, passports, wills)
Bank account information (account numbers, passwords)
Photocopies of credit and debit cards (front and back)
Stock certificates, investment information
Extra keys (home, safe deposit box, office and car)
Remember: When packing, be realistic about what you can carry. Pack only what is essential for surviving the storm and its aftermath.

Don’t forget to power outage proof your digital information. Backing up to a portable hard drive leaves you open to the same storm related dangers your computer faces. Cloud based backup preserves your data and grants you secure access from anywhere.

Finally, create an emergency kit with necessities for your pets, including food, water, and medicines, as well as a collar and leash.


Be prepared to live without utilities and basic services for one to two weeks. In addition to the three day supply kit, these supplies will be good to have if you find your self going 14 days without electricity or running water:

Disposable plates, cups, utensils
Plastic garbage bags
Mosquito repellent
Detergent for dishes and clothes
Clothesline and clothespins
Games, such as cards, and quiet toys
Duct and masking tape
Rolls of plastic
Lantern and fuel (not candles)
Gloves and goggles
Small tools
Cleaning supplies
Brooms and mops
Pails and buckets
Plywood and nails
Rakes and shovels
Chain saw, gas and oil
Battery-operated clock
Butane lighter or matches
Axes, hatchets, pruners

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Melissa Francis
Melissa Francis
Greetings! I'm Melissa Francis, the founder and primary contributor to The Homestead Survival. With over 20 years of experience in homesteading, sustainability, and emergency preparedness, I've dedicated my life to helping others achieve a simpler, more self-reliant lifestyle.

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