Prepare a Storm Emergency Kit for Your Home

Emergency preparedness is of the utmost importance, whether you are in an area that experiences severe thunderstorms, hurricanes or blizzards. Extreme weather is capable of knocking out electricity supplies and leaving you immobilized for days on end.

Your emergency storm preparedness checklist should include food and water, warm clothing and extra supplies of any medications that you or your family members need. Here is a comprehensive winter emergency preparedness checklist that covers the vitals:
  • Food: Nonperishable goods, such as baked beans and canned fruits or vegetables, should form the mainstay of your emergency food rations.
  • Water: Allow one gallon of water per person in your household, per day. Since you have no way of knowing how long a storm might affect the area, make sure you have enough water to get you through at least one week.
  • Clothing: Layers of warm, waterproof clothing are best. Stock extra blankets, and don't forget the winter hats and mittens.
  • Baby supplies: If you have a baby in the home, it is important to keep a week's worth of formula, baby food and diapers on hand.
  • Pet supplies: Factor your pets into your water ration preparations and put aside extra food and water for them as well as your human family members.
  • Medications: If you or anyone in your household is reliant on medication, talk to your pharmacist about getting an emergency backup supply of prescription drugs.
In addition to these supplies, having a hand-cranked or battery-powered radio on hand is also a good idea. This allows you to get weather updates and stay in the know about local emergency directives.

During a winter storm, you should also keep a faucet running, but just at a trickle -- this can prevent your pipes from freezing, and ensures that you'll have running water for the duration of any power outage that might strike.

If you live in an area that has frequent storms or if someone in your home relies on electricity for life-saving medical equipment, you may want to consider installing a whole home generator. These generators cost more than a gas-powered generator, but they turn on automatically and work to keep power running for days at a time.

For more information, visit the American Red Cross.