Welcome to Snowvember! Last week we saw some pretty epic snowfall in my hometown of East Aurora, New York. For those of you who don’t know East Aurora is a little town located about 30 minutes outside of Buffalo (and also sits directly in what locals refer to as the snow belt). The city that has a reputation for enduring unbelievable amounts of snow but last week was something special (even for us Buffalonians). My hometown alone experienced almost 90 inches of snow (or 7.5 feet). Lots of people lost power, a few had snow break down their doors or collapse their roofs and quite a few more lost their cars to the heavy snowfall. While I don’t expect the rest of the country to experience the same amount of snow that we did this past week, meteorologists are predicting that this winter could be one of the worst in recent memory. To prepare for frigid temperatures and the hail, sleet and snow we have put together a list of essentials that you will want to include in your winter emergency kit. We have listed them below.
Winter Emergency Kit – What do you need?
1. Fresh Water
This might sound counterintuitive during a snowstorm (which is just water) but do you really want to have to resort to boiling New York City snow-melt water for sustenance? No. No you don’t. If the storm lasts for days and you end up holed up in your apartment you will want easy access to fresh water because you don’t know when you’ll get power back. So, be sure to get some bottled water (and some non-perishable food) for your winter emergency kit.
2. Flashlights and Batteries
When the power goes out, so will your elevator. Now, your building might have an emergency backup generator but if you need to get down the stairs in a hurry a flashlight will help make your journey a little safer. Just be sure to keep some extra batteries on hand in case the power stays out longer than you may have expected.
3. Alternative Heat
If you’re lucky enough to own a fireplace or a wood-burning stove you won’t have to much of an issue dealing with the drop in temperature associated with a power outage. The rest of us, we’ve got a problem. Since you can’t run a generator inside due to carbon monoxide issues you might want to consider keeping some thermal sleeping bags on hand that are good in temperatures below 40 degrees in your winter emergency kit. It could be the difference between living comfortably and hypothermia.
These are the essentials for your winter emergency kit but feel free to put in any other additional creature comforts that you may want in a pinch (like a chocolate bar). Just make sure you have your kit in hand this winter. It could be a rough one so please, stay warm, stay safe and enjoy the snow!