I live in the Midwest and while we had an unseasonably warm fall, winter is coming ya’ll. We have already seen our first dusting of snow, and the sweaters and slippers have come out of the closet.
After seeing my friends in the South be battered by hurricanes this year, I was inspired to take stock of my own emergency preparedness.
Now, we don’t face threats like hurricanes that can knock power out for weeks. But severe winter weather can definitely knock out power for a day or two and even turn deadly.
Over the past year we have accumulated some really functional winter preparedness items – a winter emergency kit, if you will – that might give you some ideas and what you should keep on hand this winter.
Cold Weather Emergency Kit
We always hear about cold Weather Emergency kits for cars, but do you have one for your home? Here are the items we make sure that we have on hand during cold weather.
When we bought our house we knew the furnace was old, and thought we’d have to replace it right away. It turned out our home inspector overdramatized it, and the furnace should keep ticking for a few more years. While that is great news for my wallet, that still means that we are at the mercy of a very old furnace throughout the winter.
One of the first items we invested in was this kerosene heater. Kerosene is pretty safe to use and store, as fuels go, and this heater would put out enough warmth to keep the lower level of our home safe and comfortable if our furnace died. We would also be able to boil water or even cook in a pan on top of this heater. If you have an electric or unreliable heat source, this heater gives a lot of peace of mind for just over $100.
There are various reasons that clean water may not be available in a cold Weather Emergency, like frozen pipes, or broken water mains.
We were in the market for a water filtration system because our tap water has tested unsafe. I did a LOT of research, and we settled on a ProPur gravity water filter. I love that this is totally mechanical and doesn’t rely on batteries or electricity. Plus it will filter almost any contaminant out of water, so we could filter snow or even pool water if it came down to it! The portability could also be a factor in an emergency. I get a little more in depth into our water filter purchase in this post.
One of the most common winter-weather inconveniences is losing power. Keeping flashlights and lanterns near beds, and in living areas can alleviate trying to feel around the house with your cell phone flashlight. Thankfully our power has never gone out for more than a day, but that is a long time to be in the dark and cold! These lanterns are cheap enough that we have several all over the house!
It’s always a good idea to keep a day or two’s worth of canned foods, pasta, etc. in your pantry. You want to stay stocked on things you could cook with no power! If the power does go out, keep in mind that you can always moved your frozen and refrigerated items outside.
In cold weather climates it just makes sense to be prepared. These are the basics in our cold weather emergency kit, but I’d love to hear any additional ideas in the comments!