One of the reasons why I’ve been getting into the prepper thing is because of winter weather. We live in an old house and there’s almost always a pip burst or we get snowed in for a few days, or something similar. One year it was an ice storm that took the city weeks to dig out of.
It’s not about SHTF or the collapse of the government. Sometime it’s about being able to manage to pay day, or being able to find a way to work out a sudden $800 plumber bill. Or not having to drag the kids with you to work (getting stuck in the ice and snow twice) and having them bored all day because there’s no water at home and you can’t leave them there alone.
So here’s some of the absolute essentials for surviving winter.
Snow shovel- It’s a duh, but they sell out quick when you need them. And you would think other shovels would easily compensate, but they don’t. Indulge in a snow shovel.
Cardboard boxes- It’s always nice to have extra boxes around. In the winter they can be used under tires to help a stuck car get traction. Or to box up perishables to take off site if your power goes out.
Stored Water- When you need it, it’ll be too late. Especially important for people with pets.
Food that Doesn’t Need to be Cooked or Refrigerated- Canned tuna, canned pasta, peanut butter, bread, powdered milk, electrolyte powders (like powdered gatorade)
Extra blankets- This seems like a duh, but there are all kinds of uses for them. Even those small cheap fleece blankets can be used to insulate a reptile tank, wrap a dog, or lay over the pillow of a sick child so that if they miss a puke bucket you can just change out the blanket. You can also use it to stuff holes, wrap pipes, cover windows or drape over doors if you need to concentrate all the heat in one room.
A Secondary Method of cooking- I don’t mean a stove AND a microwave. I mean a stove and a grill. Or a camping stove. We’ve lucky enough to have gas heat and a gas stove, which while costing more has been a huge relief some winters
A Plan- Know where you can get shelter or food aid if you need, preferably within walking distance. I live in a poor neighborhood, but this is a bonus when there’s churches with food pantries and who serve free hot meals and a Salvation Army that always opens its doors for shelter in this kind of weather. Other plans or habits that help include never going under a few days of dog food/cat food/people food/etc, leaving sinks dripping to help prevent pipes from freezing, keeping up on prescription refills, etc. Also you should absolutely positively know where to turn off the main water line to your house in case of an emergency, whether you rent or not.
In the car
Blankets- Another duh, but sometimes we are so used to having other resources we don’t consider what would happen if we got stuck on a high way, or in a ditch. By yourself you could walk for help, but what if you have kids? Also it can help you save gas.
Water bottles- You can melt snow to drink, but stored water would freeze for most of us.
Food- Protein or granola bars, snacky stuff that won’t freeze and can hold you or some kids over for a few hours.
Extra money- For emergency gas, cab ride, etc.
Cell Phone charger- Back up chargers are cheap now days. I have a solar one that I keep on my car’s dashboard. I paid $12 for it and don’t even have to remember to charge it.
If you can’t manage a get home bag you can get a few things stocked up just in case.
Food- Again, small, light, snacky stuff. No elaborate meal things.
A Change of clothes- (or a second set to layer over what you are wearing if you have to walk in the snow)
A water bottle- Or stored water if you have no place to fill a water bottle at work
Emergency cab or bus fare- because not all emergencies are being snowed in
Hiking Boots- To, you know, get home. I don’t work in a place where you have to wear heels or dress shoes, but tennis shoes are my go tos for comfort and a long wet, snowy, cold walk is better done in boots.
I tried to keep it simple, but what are some of your tips?
Oh, and if it’s on this list DON’T do it!