The following information about winter survival comes courtesy of the Information and Advice Center at www.1800prepare.com.
Winter storms and extreme cold could be the cause of your death, no matter how much water and food you store for emergencies. It’s important to prepare to stay warm so that you don’t succumb to hypothermia in your car or at home. Here are 5 things you need to survive winter storms and extreme cold:
1. Proper Clothing
You may be used to wearing shorts and a t-shirt when you have electric or gas heat, but you can’t dress that way during a winter storm and extreme cold. These usually knock out power lines and cause blackouts, which means you have to plan for no heat (unless you have an emergency backup generator). Therefore, you need clothes at home, in your car, and at work that will keep you warm, including:
- Wool (not cotton) long underwear
- Fleece or wool sweaters
- Wool socks
- Wool or synthetic hats, gloves and scarves
Foot and hand warmers make a great addition to your emergency kit if they’re not already included.
2. Sleeping Mat and Bag
When you’re stuck in extremely cold weather, you have to stay warm while you sleep. You need one sleeping bag in your car for every family member in case you slide off an icy road, and you need another set at home. A sleeping mat is crucial in a winter storm to shield you from the cold ground. You defeat the whole purpose of staying warm if you sleep in a bag that’s directly in contact with the ground, because you’ll lose heat due to conduction. Finally, only buy a sleeping bag that is waterproof.
3. Car Kits
You need a well stocked survival kit in your car if you get into an accident in a winter storm. These should include supplies that will keep you warm until you can get help. In addition to the traditional emergency supplies, you should have:
- A high energy food bar/snack
- A hooded rain poncho
- Hiking boots
- A tarp
- A propane camping stove
Try to find a pre-made car kit that will carry the other supplies you’ll need in any emergency preparedness scenario, and buy these extra items to supplement your kit.
4. Hot Water Bottles
Buy a hot water bottle for every member of the family. You can put them in your sleeping bag to warm it up before using it. Remember, you might be out of power during a severe storm, so an electric blanket won’t work. You can also throw a blanket on top of the bottle for a make-shift foot warmer. Hot water bottles are also effective to soothe muscle aches and pains, resulting from injury or stress from the cold.
5. Emergency Gas and Water Shut-Off Tool
Winter storms and extreme cold weather can cause pipes to freeze. This can burst your pipes and cause damage to your home. An easy way to remember to shut off the water is to include an emergency gas and water shut-off tool with your preparedness supplies. These are made of steel, break down into pieces so they’re easy to store, and you can use them to quickly shut off the utilities.
Don’t get left out in the cold without these 5 important items. Make the investment and buy what you need as soon as possible. It’s worth every penny.
Buy winter survival supplies from www.1800prepare.com.