As the first blizzard of 2011 hits, I’d like to mention a few ways to prepare for a snow storm that may make things a bit easier.
Prior to the storm hitting, make a list of any “vitals” you may need–then go get them. Remember that the closer the impending storm gets, the more crowded the grocery stores will get as they fill with customers who have the same idea as you. REMEMBER FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS during this time who may have trouble getting out–it may only take a few extra minutes to call them to find out what supplies they need, but the favor could be a real life-saver for them.
Before the snow storm arrives, consider having the following items on hand:
1. The essentials–milk, eggs, bread, toilet paper–this stuff almost goes without saying.
2. New dvds your family can watch together, in case they get snowed in. A few board games and a deck of cards are also a good idea.
3. Salt or natural non-skid/melting material for your porch and walkways.
4. A selection of ice scrapers and snow shovels.
5. Pet food / cat litter.
6. Alternate heat source, in case of power outage.
7. Ready-made foods that require no cooking, in case of a power outage (examples: canned fruit, protein bars, etc.)
8. Clean clothes (get caught up on the laundry) so you’re family will have lots of clothing changes available. This way, no one will have to wear wet clothes when they come in from playing in the snow!
9. A pair of boots for each person in the family. Zappos.com offers 2-day shipping, so if you need to order some online because nearby stores are out, you can usually get the boots pretty quickly.
10. Emergency radio with charged batteries–just in case!
11. Tire chains appropriate for use in snow and ice.
12. A portable, charged battery jumper. Many times, if vehicle batteries are on their last leg, they’ll quit during cold weather–and you don’t want to be stuck in the snow with a car that won’t start!
13. Medications and First Aid supplies–commonly used over-the-counter remedies such as cold medicines and ibuprofen, sterile bandages, antibiotic ointment, etc. Also, BE SURE to have sufficient amounts of any prescription medications anyone in your house may be on–because if you’re snowed it, you won’t be able to get out to pick up more.
Things to Get Done Before the Snow Storm Arrives:
1. Mail out payments for bills before the storm hits. This way, you won’t need to worry about whether or not the mailman can make it through all the snow to pick up your mail–and deliver your bill payments. If you pay your bills online, you may want to get these taken care of, too–so if the Internet goes down, you won’t incur late fees for bills left unpaid.
2. Make any urgent merchandise returns: ie, anything where the return window may expire before you can dig out of the snow.
3. Return any library books that are due soon.
4. Return any movies you may have rented–unless you are dying to be hit by late fees because you were snowed it!
5. Deposit any paychecks, rebate checks, or other checks that need to make it into your bank. You want to make sure that money is ready and available for payments that go through.
6. Have some cash on hand–in case you simply must have something from the store, but your bank is shut down due to the snow.
7. Be sure any lawn and garden equipment in your yard is put away and secured, and that anything that is moisture sensitive is covered by a waterproof tarp. You don’t want your lawnmower to be frozen over, or your grill to have ice in parts where it shouldn’t be. (See my post photo for an example of what I mean!)
8. Charge up everyone’s cell phone, just in case the phones go out.
9. Make a list of all emergency numbers and keep them in one place by the telephone. These may include the electric company outage hotline, the oil company, the gas company, the telephone company, local disaster preparedness numbers, fire departments, police departments, friends, neighbors, family, local emergency shelters, etc.
There are more steps you could take to prepare for a snow storm that’s headed your way, but these ideas should help you get started!