For the first time I have a car that’s not great in snow, and we had a record-breaking season. Our area experienced several ice storms that wrecked the power lines. Cabin fever became a reality for people who had never heard of it. And I got a parking ticket for parking in a snow emergency route, something I didn’t know existed!
So here are the top 11 things I am doing to prepare this year, plus my favorite cold-weather tip. Feel free to add your own ideas and modify these to suit.
1. Get on your township or borough’s email list. They should send out notices to keep you informed of things like road closures and snow emergencies.
2. Stock up on at least 3 days worth of water, and easy to eat food like canned goods and dried fruit. If the power goes out and you hunker down for a little, you don’t want to be at the store with all the other crazies.
3. Stock a shoebox with candles, matches, batteries, flashlights, and other power-outage essentials. This way you don’t have to hunt for everything when you need it. My box also has individually wrapped antibacterial wipe samples and personal wipe samples, just in case.
4. Pack a bag with a thick sweater, extra socks, a hat, gloves, and a power bar or two, and put it in your car trunk. If my car gets stuck, I can layer up and save gas by not running my car as much, until I’m found. Keep a car charger for your phone and a heavy blanket in your car as well.
5. I wear contacts, so I carry my glasses and a case full of solution with me. My vision is so bad that I’d be helpless if something happened to my contacts.
6. Shop after-Halloween sales and pick up glow-in-the-dark necklaces. You can loop them on your car’s bumper or windshield wipers to stay visible if you’re stuck after dark.
7. Shop end-of-winter sales and pick up some instant hand and foot warmers to keep in your car, and your power-outage shoebox.
8. Don’t leave your house without a full water bottle. And don’t drink it just for fun!
9. Invest in a rechargeable flashlight, that sits in a charger and automatically turns on when the power goes out. This fall I bought this pair (affiliate link.)
10. Invest in a crank-operated radio/flashlight/USB charger for your storm box, and another for your car.
11. Plan for your favorite hunker-down treat. If you’re going to be stuck at home for a little while, you might as well enjoy it! I will be reading Jack London stories in fluffy socks wrapped in a fluffy blanket on my couch, sipping my new favorite adult beverage, Snap (made from a PA Dutch gingersnap recipe!) and bourbon. Come and get me, Winter!
Oh! And here’s my favorite tip- use the cold to your advantage.
Last year, many of my pilates clients lost power for several days, some almost a week, after a bad ice storm. Most of them have since gotten emergency generators, but at the time I heard lots of laments about ruined food from freezers and fridges thawing.
But, hey guys, it’s 12 degrees outside, with 3 feet of snow on the ground. If you toss your stuff out in the snow, it will stay cold! Specifically, anything on top of the snow will freeze to the air temperature, and anything buried in the snow will stay at it’s current temp- snow is a great insulator. So dig a hole for the milk just outside your door, and put your frozen things on the back porch or in an unheated shed. (This is also a great place to store the holiday leftovers.)
Special thanks to Jenna at Cold Antler Farm for her vlog on this topic, and to many of her commenters too. Also, special thanks to my mom and her trusty hurricane box. For continuing tips and ideas, follow my Storm Ready Pinterest board!