Inclement weather never happens at a good time. That’s why every household should prepare ahead of time by assembling items they may need if the power goes off or if they are unable to leave their homes. In addition to non-perishable food, there are other items that will allow you to handle anything that Mother Nature throws your way.
In today’s world, it’s hard to image no way to “plug-in”; but, that’s exactly what happens when massive storms bring down power lines. Be prepared by fully charging all of your electronic devices the minute that bad weather is predicted. Items such as cell phones, laptops and tablets should have a full charge and a backup battery, if possible. If you have a car charger for your cell phone, put it in an easy to find location.
Obtaining battery-operated devices are the next step in preparation. A battery-powered weather radio is a must, as many local announcements are delivered this way. Locate all of your flashlights and consider purchasing a solar model with a USB port, which provides an alternate method of charging electronics. Don’t forget the most important step, which is ensuring you have plenty of batteries in the appropriate sizes for all of these items.
Running a household without power isn’t easy, but it can be done. Start by thinking about heating if the emergency occurs in winter. Propane or kerosene heaters provide heat, but must be used very carefully and not around children or pets. If you have a wood burning fireplace, stock up on plenty of firewood. Gas fireplaces often still work during a power outage, but you may have to light them manually with a lighter.
A gas-powered generator is an option for those who can spend a little more money and want to keep electronics or appliances running. Don’t forget the extension cord, which is needed to connect the generator to household items. For those outdoor problems, pick up a chainsaw so you can cut any tree limbs that fall. If it’s winter, you’ll also want to prepare for ice by picking up ice melt, salt or sand to treat icy sidewalks, driveways and stairs.
Every household should already have a well stocked first aid kit. If yours doesn’t, then pick one up and keep it with your emergency supplies. In addition, a two-week supply of medication is a must any time that bad weather is predicted. If you are iced in or trees are down, you may not be able to get to the pharmacy. If your medications require refrigeration, fill a cooler full with ice just in case the power goes out.
Frequently Forgotten Items
Some of the more neglected items during an emergency are often the ones that create the most angst. A full tank of gas in car before bad weather allows you to evacuate quickly and protects you from gas gouging later. While you’re filling up, make a stop at the ATM to ensure you have plenty of cash on hand. If power goes down to area stores or vendors, you can still buy what you need. Don’t forget about stocking up on pet supplies and baby products. The last thing you want to do in a snow storm is run out for diapers or formula.
While emergencies are certainly no fun, you can make the best of them by being as prepared as possible. Gather all of your emergency supplies together and print out a supplies list for future reference. Any time your local weather forecasters get antsy about the weather, rest assured that you’re well prepared.