Winter Storm Essentials: The Items You Need to Prepare


This story is part Tips for the houseCNET’s collection of handy tips for getting the most out of your home, inside and out.

When winter comes, it hits hard. Extreme cold and winter storms can have serious consequences, including power outages and electricity. In reality, power outages worsenedthe average household experiencing 8 hours without power each winter, according to the US Energy Information Administration.

If you’re without power or stuck indoors due to massive snowfall, you’ll want to make sure you have a full supply of supplies to weather the storm. Here are the items you should stock up on to prepare for a winter storm.

For more storm preparedness tips, you can also check out how to keep your refrigerated food from coming back during a power outage and how to keep your pets safe and calm during a winter stormand discover what storm damage your home insurance will cover.

Canned goods and non-perishable foods

CNET Home Tips Logo

When a storm hits, it’s important to make sure you have food that can get you through. In the event of a power outage, the perishables in your fridge and freezer may not survive. That means you’ll need options that will last. Non-perishable foods like dried fruits and vegetables, nuts, crackers, and cereals can all withstand the cold and require little to no preparation to eat.

Likewise, canned foods have a much longer shelf life than fresh foods and don’t need to be reheated to eat, although they probably taste better if you can find a way to reheat them. . Don’t forget to grab a can opener, too, so you can open your cache of cans when you need them.


Although food is important to get you through a storm, water is absolutely essential. Humans can technically survive for a few weeks without food, but would only last a few days without consuming water.

And while you may think you can just eat snow to stay hydrated, the fact is, eating snow dehydrates you. Save some water for the winter to stay hydrated and healthy. recommends keeping one gallon of water per person per day to ensure you have enough water available to keep the whole house hydrated. Consider an extra charge if you have pets to keep.

Batteries and fuel

In the event of a power outage, you don’t want to be left in the dark, at least not entirely. For this reason, it is important to have backup power sources. This is where the batteries and fuel are located, along with the backup electronics. be useful.

You’ll want to have a battery-operated flashlight and radio available, as well as batteries to power them. Check the type of batteries these devices use so you know you have a spare to keep them running. If you have a gasoline generator, you should have an extra gas canister to fill it up and keep it running. This is especially important if the generator keeps you warm during a power outage, as extreme cold can be dangerous.

Also be sure to follow the instructions carefully if you have a generator, as improper use can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.

First aid essentials

If you can’t leave your home because of a storm and you suffer an injury of some kind, you’ll want to be able to take care of it. Bandages, gauze pads, painkillers, tweezers, hydrocortisone ointment, and hand sanitizer should all be in your kit.

Also be sure to stock up on any essential medications you have. Keep at least a week of it available in case a storm hits and prevents you from refilling your prescription.

Blankets, towels and warm clothes

If you are without power during a winter storm, you are going to be exposed to very cold temperatures. To combat this, make sure you have enough materials available to keep warm.

This includes clothes you can layer, including a base layer that can wick away sweat that might otherwise freeze onto your body. Also get some woolen blankets and consider getting a mylar emergency blanket as it can help retain up to 90% of body heat.

Winter storms can be brutal – and if you’re not prepared, they can even be deadly. Exposure to extreme cold kills more people each year than any other climatic condition, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Stocking up on essentials and preparing for a winter storm isn’t just about comfort when winter arrives, it’s about survival. Protect yourself and your family: all it takes is a little preparation.

If you are looking ways to save money on heating and electricity all winterconsider use your ceiling fan to move warm air towards you and unplug devices. It turns out that small changes can make a big difference.

More winter preparation tips


Comments are closed.