How to Prepare Your Home for a Snowstorm

Growing up in Colorado, my family and I weathered many blizzards while staying full, warm, and happy. With the right preparation, getting snowed in can be cozy and fun. Gather your supplies early in the season so that you can relax and enjoy the scenery once a snowstorm comes your way.

Stay warm

During a snowstorm, your home will probably be colder than usual, especially if the power goes out. Prepare by having warm clothes and blankets for each person ready. Know where these items are in case you need to grab them in the dark.

Make sure you have plenty of warm outdoor clothes in case you need to leave your house. Have a heavy jacket, boots, and a hat ready. Have a couple pairs of gloves set aside for each person. It never felt like we had enough gloves during a snowstorm, and extra gloves will probably get put to good use.

Be ready to cover up drafty areas. Plastic can insulate windows, and extra blankets or old rugs are good for cold floors. Collect towels and rags to seal off gaps underneath closed doors.

If you live in an area with frequent power outages, consider investing in an alternative heat source, like a wood stove. A small generator could also be useful if you find your house losing power a lot.

Stay nourished

Keep everyone fed and hydrated during the big storm. You will probably have access to fresh water throughout the storm, but it can’t hurt to store extra water. A gallon per day per person is a good rule of thumb.

People may more than usual during the storm. Shoveling snow and simply being cold lead to bigger appetites. Have plenty of food on hand that can be eaten if the power goes out. Protein heavy foods like nuts, beans, and protein bars are a must.

Also consider canned soup and canned beans, along with a portable stove (like a Coleman Two-Burner Propane Stove), and manual can opener. Everyone appreciates a warm drink during a snow storm, so stock some instant cocoa, tea, and coffee. Chocolate is given to people with hypothermia – pair it with peanut butter for a hearty treat.

Make sure everyone in your family is cared for by having enough pet food, medicine, and vitamins on hand. We tend to overlook these things in preparation, but they are almost as important as stocking food and water.

Stay safe

Maintain your connection to the outside world throughout the storm. A battery operated radio or a hand crank radio will help you stay informed about the latest weather conditions. Keep your cell phone charged as much as possible, using car or solar chargers if necessary.

Have snow shovels and ice scrapers ready for when you need to leave your house. I once had to dig myself out of my unplowed street, and ever since then, I keep a snow shovel around for every person who can dig.

Invest in a few flash lights and batteries to see when the power is out. I don’t recommend candles, as they are a huge fire hazard and could just add to your troubles. LED flashlights tend to be more expensive, but they also last longer and are perfect for emergencies.

Stay sane

When I look back on the snowstorms of my childhood, I can’t believe how well we all got along. Being stuck together in the house was great fun, partially because of all the activities my parents had for us to do. Stock up on cards, board games, and jigsaw puzzles. If the weather permits it, visit a neighbor or invite neighbors over for the afternoon. Some of life’s best memories are made when everyone is snowed in together.

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