Winter Storms and other natural disasters seem to be the moments when preppers realize why they prep. Whether it’s preparing for a zombie apocalypse or a winter storm for next week, having what you need when you need it is always a good thing.
If you’re expecting a winter storm next week, follow our checklist so you’re prepared.
Every winter since we moved off-grid, we’ve been trapped at home because of the storms. Whether it was being snowed in, iced in, or downed power lines. We’ve had to be prepared for every emergency.
We have an elderly person living on our homestead who is disabled, a young couple just learning to live off-grid, and a plethora of livestock we all have to prepare for.
It’s hard enough preparing for those under one roof, but somehow we manage to do it.
Prepping and learning to live without relying on modern conveniences have literally saved our lives.
What Should I Stock Up On Before A Winter Storm?
The best time to prepare is now. If you’re expecting a winter storm next week, this is the perfect time to check your preps and get what you need.
One thing I’ve learned from living through hurricanes, about a week or so out, the news warns everyone to get stocked, and make plans.
The bad thing about the forewarning, if you don’t go to the store soon, the shelves will be empty when you do. Best to early to avoid shortages.
Winter Storm Checklist
You’re expecting a winter storm next week, use this checklist to be prepared.
- Water (15.5 cups per day for men and 11.5 cups per day for women). We plan a gallon of water per person per day in our house. Make sure to store enough water for any pets or livestock. Store water in a room protected from the cold.
- Food (canned Goods). Have a two week family meal plan.
Stock up on food you don’t have to cook or refrigerate. Check out our meal plan for no-cook recipes.
- Livestock Feed. Best to store enough livestock feed for at least two weeks. I like to buy extra scratch (cracked corn) as a snack to warm them up.
- Hay. Hay can be used to keep livestock warm (and a source of food). Place hay around beehives as a wind barrier. Add a couple of inches of hay to plants that can’t be moved indoors.
- Medicine and Medical Supplies. Accidents happen. During a snowstorm, icy roads can make travel impossible. A well-stocked first aid kit is essential.
- Batteries. Check the battery size for any flashlights, chargers, lights, nebulizers, or anything else that you have that runs off batteries, and stock up on those sizes.
- Candles. Power outages are very common during storms.
- Paper Products. This is one thing I wish we had more of during the last natural disaster we went through. Paper plates, napkins, paper towels, puppy pads. Check out our list of Toilet Paper options if you run out!
- Feminine Products.
- Snow-Melt, Salt, or cat litter.
- Trash Bags.
Ways To Heat And Cook During A Winter Storm
- Gasoline. Not only do you need gasoline for generators, but for chainsaws, tractors, plows, snow blowers, and vehicles as well.
- Trash bags.
- Firewood. Provided you have a fireplace, be sure to store enough firewood to last several days. Best to store firewood close to the house and under cover. In addition to outside storage, stack plenty of firewood inside.
- Fire Starter. In addition to dry firewood, get enough firestarter to last you a week or so. Fat lighter (also called rich lighter), fire logs, starter bricks, or DIY fire starters.
- Propane cooker and extra propane. Especially important is extra propane. We use a propane heater at our cabin and when we went to get it refilled during a winter storm and cold front, everyone was out. We drove over an hour away to refill it!
What Should You Have In Your House During A Winter Storm?
Being prepared and having plenty of stock is key to being a prepper. However, equally important is having those items readily available.
First you want to obtain the items you need. Second, you want to store those items in a convenient place to access as well as be protected from the elements.
Staying Connected During A Winter Storm
The ability to communicate with other family members and the outside world is critical in a snowstorm. Walkie talkies, ham radios, or CB’s can keep you connected when phone lines are down, and allow you to contact emergency services.
Water For Emergencies
In addition to storing enough water for every family member, pet, and livestock, make sure you store some inside the house.
Ways to Cook During A WInter Storm
Do you have non-electric methods for preparing food? Things like a dutch oven, charcoal cooker, rocket stove, fire pit, or a gas grill.
If you don’t have another means of cooking food other than an oven or microwave, consider printing no-cook recipes to have on hand.
Not many people think about storing a shovel inside the house. If you’ve ever been snowed in where the snow covers your front door, you will understand why a shovel made our list.
Non-Electric Items To Have For A Winter Storm
Equally important to food storage, is having a way to prepare it.
Surprisingly, many people don’t realize how heavily they rely on electricity in their everyday lives.
Some examples of non-electric items you may need are
- Coffee pot. We use a percolator exclusively living off-grid.
- Can opener.
- Food mixer (beater or a hand chopper).
- Potato Masher.
- Dutch Oven (use in place of a crockpot or a roasting pan).
- Bottle Opener.
- Water Bottle (use in place of a heating pad).
Solar Phone Charger
Assuming you will experience a power outage during the winter storm next week, a solar phone charger can keep you in contact with the outside world.
Warm Your Space During A Winter Storm
As a result of power outages, many people are left without a way to stay warm.
The key to staying warm is condensing your living space.
- Close doors to unused rooms.
- Have everyone utilize just one room in the house.
- Use plastic wrap on the windows to prevent drafts.
- Hang heavy quilts or blankets over doorways.
- Invest in a small tent that you can put up in a room and have everyone stay in the tent. The shared body heat will help keep you warm.
In the world of technology, writing things down on paper is almost a thing of the past. But what happens when you can’t access the world wide web? or the information on your cell phone?
Create an old fashioned address book and write down all of your important information. Include things like addresses, phone numbers, any relevant medical information.
Extremely important to any prep is a toilet. Let’s face it, no one wants to have to deal with raw sewage issues during a winter storm. Or any day for that matter.
Pipes freeze, as do water lines, and septic systems. I am speaking from experience.
Are you familiar with the saying ‘desperation is the mother of invention”?
Picture this if you will, a family of five with three women, 1000 year storm hits the coast and your home. Your yard, the roads, and everything surrounding is flooded.
You have a septic, but your yard is flooded. Next, the sewage starts rising in all of the toilets and even the sinks.
Have I painted the picture yet?
Desperation creates invention- our DIY Portable Emergency Toilet.
The DIY Emergency Portable Toilet
Crazy simple to make for less than $20 and easy to store until needed.
- A clean five gallon bucket.
- Toilet lid for five gallon buckets. Available online or in the camping section at big box stores.
- A bag of wood chips. Available at feed stores like TSC or Rural King.
- Small trash bags. Place the small trash bag in the 5 gallon bucket, add chips and the toilet lid.
- Bottle of air freshener. Well, because.
Empty Buckets and or Trash Cans
When a family is stuck inside due to a winter storm, trash cans fill fast.
Typically, a household only has one large trash can inside.
Trashcans (clean of course) and buckets can be used to store extra household trash, water, food scraps, snow to melt for water, firewood, and more.
Have A Backup Heat Source For The Winter Storm Next Week
Our area recently experienced a severe winter storm that left thousands without power for days. On Christmas…
This was the second time in three years something like this has happened.
People online are begging for help with a way to stay warm.
If you rely on electricity for heat, invest in a propane or kerosene heater. A small pellet stove would work as well.
How Do You Protect Yourself From A Winter Storm?
- Don’t Travel. If you do have to travel, make sure you have a winter emergency car kit. You can make your own with our DIY instructions.
- Stay Hydrated.
- Have enough food to sustain you.
- If you rely on a CPAP machine, or another life-saving device that uses electricity, invest in a generator or a battery operated alternative.
- Dress in layers with the right fabrics. Cotton is not good for the cold. Wool is the best choice, followed by synthetics.
- Check In With Others. Let people know where you are, and your status.
Power Outages During A Winter Storm
Aside from the extreme cold, one of the other things you need to prepare for when expecting a winter storm is power outages.
Most areas have their power restored within several hours. However, it’s not uncommon to go days without power during a bad storm.
Prepare yourself and your household now for the winter storm next week, as well as prolonged power outages.
Are You Prepared For The Winter Storm Next Week?
Weather emergencies are something we will all face. From hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, earthquakes, to winter storms.
Obviously, we can’t possibly prepare for every single situation, but we can prepare for a lot of them.
Natural disasters aren’t easy on anyone, however, if you prepare now, you can help prevent panic in the future.