I have been in two true blizzards. The one in 1966 snowed us in for literally 2 weeks. I was a little girl and, when you are little, everything seemed extra big. When they finally did get our streets cleared, each side of the street was a mountain of snow and ice piled high.
Prior to the dig-out, some families had to crawl out of the second story windows of their homes to get outside. You really didn’t want to be outside, though. It was easy to sink waist-deep into the snow and very hard to pull yourself out. After 14 days of being snowed in, we finally had to walk to a local market to get supplies: eggs, milk, bread. Mom called ahead to be sure that they were open and even had any food. We brought a sled with us, pulled by a Saint Bernard, to haul the supplies back home. The walk was leg aching for us all. The dads and the kids went. I was so grateful to get back home again and never wanted to do that again!
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Storm Preparation Checklist
Batteries Have various sizes and types of batteries for all of your flashlights, camping lamps and radios.
Blankets Plenty of warm blankets can come in handy!
Candles & Matches For power outages and starting fires in your fireplace. A nifty little trick I learned the last time we had a storm that knocked out our power was to use my LED candles for ambient light in bathrooms and the kids’ room. They are a bit brighter than a nightlight and take some of the scariness out of the dark. Be sure to have batteries on hand to keep them going.
Cancel It! Cancel appointments, travel plans etc. If you have a job where you can work from home, make sure you have what you need. Otherwise, know that no one will be at work on the day of a blizzard. You DO NOT want to be on the road. That is no place to be in a storm and, sadly, some people get stuck and never make it home. Be smart and play it safe. Bosses, do your employees a favor and close work ahead of time.
Cell Phones Charge your cells now, before the storm hits.
Warm Clothes Extra warm socks, hats and gloves. You may need them indoors if you lose heat or electricity.
Flashlights / Radios You will want to stay informed about the weather and emergency alerts during the storm. A good battery-powered radio is key. Of course, when the lights go out, flashlights are very good to have on hand.
First Aid Kit There are great pre-packed first aid kits on the market that you can purchase or you can make one of your own.
Food / Water Be ready to prepare food without the use of a stove, just in case you have to. Get plenty of pet food for your animals, as well. Bottled water is a plus during short-term water safety concerns.
Gasoline Get extra gas for your vehicles, snow-blower and generator, if you have one. If you don’t have a gas can, get one now.
Generator Use it safely! Make sure it is well ventilated. Shovel around it to prevent carbon monoxide from entering your home. Safety Tips by The Red Cross: How To Use a Generator Safely
Lights In addition to flashlights, battery powered camping lights are a great addition to your supplies list.
Loved Ones Check on your loved ones to be sure that they are prepared. Are they elderly, babies or ill? It may be a good idea for them to come stay with you until the storm is over. Secure their safety.
Medication If anyone in your family requires specific medication, have plenty of it on hand. A few days in a storm can become weeks. You never know. Better to be safe than sorry.
Pets Keep your pets inside. Be sure that you have everything they will need to be happy and safe, too: food, medication, toys, dog bones, kitty litter, pet toys etc. Be prepared to clear an area for your dog to go out to go potty. Do not leave him outside. Stand right there and get him back indoors immediately after he goes. Another alternative: a wee-wee pad. Cold Weather Pet Safety Tips by ASPCA
Snow Shovels, Snow Blowers and Pet-Safe Snow Melter In a big storm, their usefulness is limited. Remember that heroic efforts to dig y become an emergency in themselves. Many a person has had a heart attack from too much shoveling. Be smart. Wait for help to come. If you have a snow blower, use it wisely. Snow Blower Safety Tips by Consumer Reports.
Things To Do The excitement of a storm gets old really fast, especially if you have young children. Family games that don’t require electricity are good to have on hand. Books, deck of cards, board games, coloring books, crayons, puzzles, Legos — there are lots of possibilities. Plan ahead.
What else can you do to prepare for a blizzard? Share your thoughts and storm stories with us in the comments!