Stock Up For Getting Snowed In – What You Need and When You Need It
by: Esther Pransky, Lubicom Marketing Staff
Does anyone else remember the blizzards in “Little House on the Prairie?”
Without warning, the black clouds would blot out the sun, and the winds would howl around the house.
It’s a far cry from the days of hype and hysteria that precede any snow these days. And the irony is that the snow often doesn’t come or falls way short of the dire predictions.
But every winter has its genuine snowstorms, the kind that keeps you and your family indoors. Being prepared is the key to weathering the shut-ins with grace, good health, and good humor.
Stock up in advance
Part of the pre-storm hype is the rush on the grocery store. Picture the desperate shoppers, long lines, and empty shelves.
Then picture yourself avoiding the craziness by keeping a stash of food essentials in your house all winter long. You can go to the store TODAY and stock up.
What to buy?
Hope for the best but prepare for the worst. In this case, the worst is losing power and being housebound for days. That’s why experts recommend having a 3-day supply of your family’s favorite non-perishable foods on hand.
Exactly what you stock up on depends on your family’s preferences. If possible, though, try to have a variety that includes snack foods, healthy carbs, proteins, and fruits/veggies:
3. Granola or energy bars
5. Peanut butter or other kinds of nut butter
6. Shelf-stable milk (It comes in chocolate flavored, too!)
7. Canned tuna or salmon
8. Beef jerky
10. Baby Food
11. Bottled water or other drinks (one gallon per person per day)
12. Big bag of ice (to use in a cooler if necessary)
Although it’s not necessary for physical survival, having some fun comfort foods will put everyone in a better mood.
Before the storm
If you have your permanent stash, you’ll be all set for whatever comes your way. But if you can get to a store closer to the storm, here are some items that will make your stay at home even more comfortable:
Once again, aim for a 3-day supply of:
1. Citrus fruits, apples, or other fruits that can go without refrigeration
2. Fresh bread
5. Any necessary medications that you’re running low on
While you’re at the store stocking up in advance, don’t forget the nonfood items that should be a part of your emergency stash:
1. Batteries and flashlight
2. Non-electric (!!) can opener
3. Toilet paper
5. First aid kit
6. Non-electric activities for adults and kids like books, games, and puzzles. You may as well have fun while you’re on a forced vacation.
And make sure your cell phone, laptop, etc. are fully charged.
Winter Storm Workarounds
If you do lose power, you’ll be prepared, but you’ll still be in the dark with cold feet and cold food.
Generators are wonderful but might be too pricey and impractical. Still, other options can bring some light and warmth into your house – IF you’re prepared in advance.
IMPORTANT SAFETY NOTE: Gas heaters and ovens can pose a serious fire and carbon monoxide hazard. Read all safety warnings. . . and follow them! And make sure you have working fire extinguishers and carbon monoxide detectors.
- Nothing beats a good, old-fashioned fireplace for homey warmth and memories. Gather the kids ‘round for stories or to roast marshmallows.
- Once it stops snowing, you may be able to use your outdoor grill. That barbeque smell will bring you back to the lazy days of summer for a few precious moments.
- Try a pocket stove. It’s a small, metal contraption that works with smokeless solid fuel tablets. Each tablet burns for 10 – 15 minutes. That’s enough time to boil some water or heat up soup.
- You can also look into indoor portable propane heaters. They come in all sizes, are made to be used indoors, and include important safety features.
- Rechargeable LED lights are another handy camping item. They last for hours and can light up an entire room.
Of course, all these ideas only work if you stocked up on the right fuel beforehand!
No one wants to be shut inside or lose power. On the other hand, if you stay safe, well-fed, and warm, you can find the silver lining in the storm.
Get cozy and comfy under a blanket, and enjoy some family time or a much-needed break.