Imagine this scenario…a bad ice storm blows through Kansas City practically shutting down the entire metro area. Power lines are down. Your home is freezing cold. You have no hot water and you can’t drive anywhere because the entire city is buried in a sheet of ice. You’re huddled together with your family trying to stay warm – now what? Winter storms cause electrical outages. It may not happen often in Kansas City, but it can happen, and if you and your family get trapped in your home by a blizzard, you have to be prepared. Have a plan. The team at Jeremy Electrical put together this winter storm kit list to make sure you’re ready when weather disasters strike.
Before a Blizzard
Stay informed. Listen to local area radio or TV stations for the latest information and updates. Bring your pets inside. Check your family’s emergency kit and replenish any items missing or in short supply, especially medications and medical supplies. Keep it nearby. Keep these supplies in a portable bag like a duffle bag that is easy to carry in case you must evacuate your home.
Prep Your Home
What should you do to prepared? If your plan is to stay in your home, take the time to gather these items so you’re ready to “rough it” inside your own home should the time come.
If you have a fireplace, or wood-burning stove, keep a supply of firewood to burn. (Be sure the stove or fireplace is properly vented and in good working order and always dispose of ashes safely.)
Consider storing sufficient heating fuel. Regular fuel sources may be cut off. (Be cautious of fire hazards when storing any type of fuel.) If you live in an area where winter storms are common, you may want to think about installing a portable generator. Follow the safety tips from the Red Cross to avoid home fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.
Check that your fire extinguisher is in good working order, and replace it if necessary.
In the event that you have to evacuate your home, keep your vehicle stocked for emergencies too. Know your routes and destinations and where the local emergency shelter is located. Keep your vehicle’s gas tank full so you can leave right away in an emergency, and to keep the fuel line from freezing.
Emergency Storm Kit
Every home should have an emergency storm kit. What exactly should that kit include? Here is a checklist:
- Water: one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)
- Food: non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home).
- Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
- Extra batteries of all sizes
- Medications (7-day supply) and medical items
- Multi-purpose tool
- Sanitation and personal hygiene items
- Cell phone with chargers
- Family and emergency contact information
- Extra cash
- Emergency blanket
- Things you’re likely to forget:
- Medical supplies (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, etc)
- Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
- Games and activities for children
- Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
- Two-way radios
- Extra set of car keys and house keys
- Manual can opener
- Rain gear
- Work gloves
- Tools/supplies for securing your home
- Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes
- Plastic sheeting
- Duct tape
- Blankets or sleeping bags
- Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
- First Aid Kit
- Hand sanitizer
- Latex gloves (1 pair)
- Variety of adhesive bandages
- Gauze dressing pads, sterile 3″ x 3″ (4)
- Gauze roll bandage, sterile 3″ x 4.1yd
- Trauma pad, 5″ x 9″
- Antiseptic towelette (2)
- Triple antibiotic ointment
- Roll of cloth first aid tape, 1″ x 5yd
Winter Storm Vehicle Kit
Here are the items to keep in your car or truck in case of emergency evacuation or breakdown on the road in bad weather:
- A windshield scraper and small broom
- A small sack of sand or kitty litter for generating traction under wheels and a set of tire chains or traction mats
- Matches in a waterproof container
- A red cloth to tie to the antenna
- An emergency supply kit, including warm clothing
- Keep handy a warm coat, gloves or mittens, hat, water-resistant boots, and extra blankets and warm clothing for each member of the household.
- Keep your vehicle’s gas tank full so you can leave right away in an emergency and to keep the fuel line from freezing.