When the weather outside is frightful, make sure you have the essentials for staying safe and warm while snowed in.
While the idea of holing up inside, wrapped in a blanket and drinking tea is rather romantic, doing those things because you physically cannot go outside because of a snowstorm is…less so. With severe winter weather warnings being issued in the southern Plains, and storms expected to drop up to 21 inches of snow the Northeast, we figured it’s time to figure out what you’d really need to have at home in case you get snowed in for a few days.
While it may seem silly to keep days worth of food and water stocked up for an emergency (we’re not trying to doomsday prep), it can make a huge difference when the snow is piled so high that you can’t make it to the grocery store. In the off-chance you’re stuck in your house, it’s best to have what you need before that happens. We know that space is a precious commodity inside everyone’s homes and apartments, so we’re focusing on the items that take up the least amount of space and are the most important in case you get stuck inside. Trust us, you’ll be glad you’re prepared.
12 Things to Have at Home in Case of a Snowstorm
The last thing you want during a snowstorm (or any emergency) is a dead phone. Juice up a portable charger to keep your phones, tablets, and any other small electronics fully powered in case of emergency. Not only will you be able to make calls to check on friends and family, but it’ll allow you to keep an eye on the weather.
Hopefully the electricity doesn’t go out, but if it does, you’ll be glad you have a flashlight on hand. It’s great for illuminating your way around the house when the lights are out, and it’s also essential if you have to go outside to check on any pipes or meters after the sun has set. One extra-fantastic feature: This flashlight is waterproof, so it won’t die if you happen to drop it in the snow or a puddle.
You don’t need to have your shelves fully stocked for some kind of doomsday-like event, but making sure you have some non-perishables in cans is great for days you can’t get fresh food from the store. If you live somewhere that gets snow, try to have soup, veggies, or even canned meat on-hand for possible storms. Soups are an easy-to-heat full meal. This one’s nutritious and has a long shelf life.
Emergency Preparedness Kit
If the thought of buying a ton of individual items before a storm freaks you out, allow Judy to do all the work for you. This kit includes enough for a family of four to survive on for up to 72 hours, including food, water, first-aid supplies, tools, and more. While it’s definitely meant more for natural disasters than occasional storms, it’s a great way to ensure you have everything you need, no matter the situation.
A chilling thought: A ton of snow could knock out your electricity, which may lead to your heat turning off. Having plenty of blankets will ensure you can bundle up if temperatures begin to dip in the house. While any blanket will do, a quilted version, like this one from Rumpl, will hold heat better. This one’s also water-resistant in case you need to take it outside for any reason.
When nature calls, you’re not going to want to reach for an empty roll of TP. Make sure you have enough for a few days, especially if you have a large family. We’re big fans of the Cloud Paper subscription, which sends you toilet paper on a set schedule (meaning you’ll never run out).
First Aid Kit
You should always have a first-aid kit on hand, weather emergency in your future or not. This one comes with over 300 pieces that all fit neatly into a bag. There are bandages to treat cuts, scrapes, and burns; burn cream and cold pack to treat burns and swelling; and a variety of pain-management pills, like ibuprofen and aspirin.
Gas Indoor Heater
If your heat does go out, it’d be ideal to have a way to generate your own somehow. A gas heater that’s safe for indoor use will keep you and your family nice and toasty, even if the electricity is down for the count. This one is powered by propane, which you can buy at a local hardware store, and can heat up to 225 square feet, for up to six hours at a time, on one pound of propane.
Ice may seem redundant in a snowstorm, but you do have to keep your perishables cold somehow! If you can, make a little extra ice just in case before the storm hits. That way, you can keep your fridge and freezer cold in the event of a power outage. (And of course, if it’s cold enough, you could also put some food outside.) This tray comes with a storage container to keep the extra ice, and it fits neatly on top of the container.
Extra water may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s too often forgotten in emergencies. Fill up a couple of jugs from the tap, to have on-hand in case your pipes freeze or you lose water access for some other reason. In a pinch, you could even fill these jugs with snow and bring them inside to thaw. (A worst-case scenario, yes, but why not consider every possibility?)
While most of our devices don’t run on batteries anymore, things like flashlights, radios, and other small devices still definitely do. So it’s always a good idea to have some extra batteries around to power up whatever you may need. These keep for a long time, too, so you won’t have to buy them before every single weather event.
Pet Food Storage Container
This airtight container won’t only help keep pet food fresh for longer, but it will also ensure that bugs and pests won’t make their way into any open food bags. With room for up to 50 pounds of dry food, you can stock up without worrying the food will go bad. You should have plenty of grub for your four-legged loved ones if you find yourself stuck inside during a snowstorm.
While we didn’t include this in our list, it’s best to do a quick grocery and pharmacy run before any incoming storms, too. Bread, milk, and eggs make it easy to whip up basic meals. (They’re classics for a reason.) Also, ensure that you have enough of any regular medicines, so you don’t run out while you’re snowed in. The same holds true for contact solution or any other vital drugstore items.
Make sure your four-legged family members have enough food to last them for a few days, too. If you’ll be taking them out in frigid temps and they aren’t used to it, this may be the time to invest in a coat for your dog or even booties to protect their paws. If you have cats, it’s best to stock up on enough litter to last him or her for a few extra days. As for any outdoor animals, make sure they have a safe, warm place during the storm, whether that’s inside the house with you, in a barn, or another heated structure. If you care for any stray animals, make sure they have a place to take shelter in, too, preferably with straw to insulate instead of blankets, which can get wet and freeze.
If you have a generator for your house, fill up a gas can or two to power it, should you need to use it. You can keep the cans in your garage or a shed outdoors, and thankfully, there’s no expiration date on gasoline. If you don’t end up using it for your generator, you can always use the extra gas for topping off your car’s tank, using in a snow blower, or filling up tools like a chainsaw, should you need to cut up any downed trees or branches.
Most obviously, have winter clothing on hand. Chances are you’ll have your entire winter wardrobe inside with you if you get snowed in, but gloves and mittens always seem to go missing when you need them the most. Make sure you have hats, scarves, and gloves to bundle up in — and that you know where they are, should you need to don them indoors if temperatures drop inside.