We live in Canada….winter storms are inevitable. Here on the South Shore of Nova Scotia, those storms can often be accompanied by strong winds, rain, freezing rain and ice pellets. The power of Mother Nature has been evident here in Nova Scotia over the last decade with Hurricane Juan , White Juan and the winter of 2015..which most of us will never forget. One thing that has always been important this time of year, is to make sure you do some winter storm prep, so that you are prepared for whatever the weather brings.
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Power outages can be a common occurrence depending on where you live. We just recently went through a 30 hour outage that began on Christmas Day at 4:00pm. Although I had my turkey dinner ready ahead of time…just in case…some of my other prep just didn’t happen…because…well…Christmas. 😉 While I typically am very prepared for most storms, this one was a good reminder that maybe a check list would come in handy. Thought you might need one too. 🙂
During a power outage, most of us are unable to access running water. Making sure you have enough water for drinking, washing, cleaning and also to flush your toilet if necessary and one of the most important considerations when it comes to storm prep. I try to have several of the 4L jugs on hand at all times, but you don’t realize how much water you need during an extended outage. I’m going to make sure I have a large water container filled and ready for next time and of course fill my bath tub up ahead of time.
The recommendation is to have enough food and supplies to last for 72 hours during an emergency. Most of us probably have enough food to last during an outage, but I like to plan ahead and have some simple things prepared. Make sure you have an automatic can opener and staples like peanut butter, canned tuna, and other non-perishables. I’m pretty organized with food prep when a storm is coming and usually make a big pot of soup, muffins, etc.
You can check out a recent Facebook Live where I talked about my storm prep and what I had done as far as food preparation…
3. Flashlights and battery operated light/candles
If the power is out, especially in the winter, it gets dark quickly and having flashlights, or battery operated lights are crucial. Flashlights, puck lights and even battery operated candles, which are safer to use than traditional candles, will make all the difference during a power outage.
4. Batter powered or hand crank radio
Without power or internet you can quickly feel cut off. Having a battery operated radio with the ability to tune into your local radio station for updated weather forecasts, closures, etc, is imperative. You can go with a simple hand crank radio or an impressive Portable Solar Emergency Radio with Bluetooth, Weather Alert and a USB Cellphone Charger. (This sounds perfect as we spent a fair bit of time charging our phones in our car during the last outage)
5. First Aid Kit/Medications
If the power is out and the roads are bad, you want to be sure you have everything you need to take care of yourself in case of an accident. A basic first aid kit should be something you have on hand, but a good idea to go over it and make sure it is well stocked. Also smart to make sure your prescriptions are filled and on hand anytime they are calling for bad weather.
I learned during one big dump of snow…probably in 2015…that it’s handy to have your snow shovel by the door. Either inside your door or directly outside…but somewhere within easy reach in case you may actually need to shovel yourself out.
Good idea to have extra batteries on hand for your flashlights, battery operated lights, etc. You may want to consider investing in a battery charger and rechargeable batteries. (just make sure they are charged and ready to go before a storm)
If you have a wood stove or fireplace, it’s always a good idea to make sure the wood boxes are full and supplies are ready, before any winter storm begins.
This is the basic prep that I do before any sort of winter storm event. Being prepared and making sure you have the essentials on hand will make all the difference when coping with an extended power outage or major winter weather. Food, water, flashlights, battery operated radio, go a long way in providing comfort and making you feel safe.
Now, there are other considerations that come to mind and may not be applicable to all, but I see people talking about them on social media during weather events. Here are a few non-essential items that you may be looking for or might want to consider…
More and more people have invested in generators over the last decade as a way to keep some of the lights on, the freezer plugged in, etc. They are also a way for people to keep some heat going if they do not have an alternative heat source during a power outage. They require gas to run, so make sure you have a gas jug filled and ready, if you do have a generator.
Oil lamps can provide another light source during an emergency. With lamp oil and wicks able to be stored, these are a dependable item….with proper care…to have during a storm.
Even with a shovel by the door, you may require something a little bigger to move all the snow once it falls. Snow throwers/blowers can certainly make storm clean up easier on the back and cuts down on time required to clear.
*A Butane/Coleman Stove
While it’s important to have non-perishable food items, if you do want the ability to cook something or to boil water, you may want to have a Butane or Coleman stove on hand. A Coleman stove should only be used outside, but a portable butane gas stove can be used inside with proper precautions. Be sure to have butane fuel refills or propane canisters also with your storm prep supplies.
Since the winter of 2015, Storm Chips are now officially part of any necessary storm prep. 😉 While not essential, they certainly are most people’s lists as they prepare to hunker down. You want to be prepared…be safe…but also have fun and make it as enjoyable as possible. #Stormchips are one way to do that. 🙂
I help this serves as a reference or guide as you listen to the forecasts and make your own preparations. Winter weather, high winds, downed power lines, are all things we may have to contend with and it’s important that we take responsibility and make sure we are as prepared as possible for whatever the weather brings.
*This post has been sponsored by Gow’s Home Hardware. Gow’s is fully stocked throughout the year to assist you with all your storm preparations. Their friendly staff are always available to answer any questions you may have.