Winter is arriving for most of the United States, which means it is time to consider what you need to do to prepare. The last thing you want to do is wait to hear the forecast that a huge blizzard is headed your way. Everyone else will be hitting the stores, wiping shelves clean. Knowing the things to stockpile for a blizzard now will save you a lot of stress later.
9 Things to Stockpile for a Blizzard
The first thing that you should stockpile for any emergency scenario is water. The general rule you must remember is one gallon per person per day. So, if you have four people in your house, you want to be prepared to stay home for at least a week. That would equal 28 gallons of water. (And more if you consider cooking, bathing and toiletry.) Don’t forget to include a gallon for each pet!
During a blizzard, you have no idea if you will have electricity. Obviously, the ideal situation is that you have power, but if not, you should have non-perishable food on hand. Remember a manual can opener! So many people forget those until it is too late. Here are some good choices for food:
- Granola bars
- Protein bars and powder
- Oatmeal packets
- Jars of applesauce
- Cans of soup
- Canned beans
- Salmon or tuna packets
- Instant coffee and tea
- Peanut butter (and jelly)
- Powdered milk
- Pasta and sauce
3. Way to cook food
So, you have this great stockpile of food, but you don’t have a gas-powered stove. That means you have to figure out how you will cook the food without electricity. A camping stove or grill are good choices. Both allow you to use them during other situations, so they’re worth your money.
Remember to stockpile the fuel for the cooking method, either canister of propane or charcoal (with a lighter).
4. A form of heat
Snow means cold, and cold means heat is important. In the best blizzard situation, your power remains on, and your house stays warm. Too bad best-case scenarios don’t always work out. Heat is essential, and there are other options to consider.
First, remember to keep your house warm by blocking off unnecessary parts of the house. You can all sleep in one room and block off vents to other portions of the house. For those with a wood stove, all you need is a stockpile of dry firewood.
The other choice is a portable propane heater. You always should be careful and keep a carbon monoxide detector before turning them off. However, propane heaters are typically highly rated.
5. Necessary baby items
You only have to worry about this if you have a young child at home. Babies need constant tending, blizzard or not! A baby must be kept warm, so keep extra blankets and clothes for the child. Diapers, wipes, and ointment will keep your baby clean and happy. If you use formula, keep a few extra cans on hand for emergencies.
6. First-aid kit
In every situation, you want a first-aid kit. It never fails that when you assume you won’t need it, you do. If you don’t feel comfortable creating a kit, most stores sell ready-made first-aid kits. Stock up on some useful items such as:
- Necessary, daily medication
- Bandages and gauze
- Antibiotic ointment
- Cold medicine (for adults and children if you have little ones in house)
- Allergy medication
7. Flashlights, batteries, candles
If the power goes out, flashlights will help you see at night. Make sure that you remember batteries! Those flashlights won’t do much good if you forget batteries.
Candles are another choice, but it is important to remember that candles come with a safety hazard. Many house fires start because of candles, so use extreme caution. Keep a working fire extinguisher on hand, as well. Never leave a candle unattended, especially with kids or cats in the home!
8. Blankets and warm clothes
Staying warm is a necessity. Blankets and warm clothing are a must! Sweatshirts, wool socks, mittens, hats, thick sweatpants and more can be stored for an emergency. Ideally, each person will have a few blankets stored.
9. Snow removal tools
With all of that snow gathering in front of your home, you need tools to remove them. You will need to dig out eventually. Shovels are a good, cheap item to have on hand. Rock salt can help melt the ice on your patio or sidewalk. A snow blower is also a fantastic investment that will save you time and energy. Remember heavy duty work gloves! Your hands will be frozen at the end of the job.
What do you stockpile for a blizzard? Let us know your favorite, must-have stockpile item!