From a light dusting of snow down south to blizzards up north with blinding, wind-driven snow that lasts for days, winter’s impact can be felt across the country. Regardless of the severity of a winter storm, people should be prepared and stay safe during these weather events.

One of the biggest concerns during extreme winter weather is the loss of power to your home. Ice, snow or extreme cold can strain power lines and immobilize an entire region. Pay attention to the weather forecasts during these months and if you don’t have an alternate heat source (wood burning stove, fireplace or natural gas fire place) be sure to have plenty of blankets and layers of clothing to keep warm.

Here’s a few more tips and items to help prepare your home for the next big storm:

  • Conserve fuel by keeping your residence cooler than normal, temporarily closing off heat to some of the rooms.
  • Avoid overexertion when shoveling snow. Use caution, take breaks and push the snow instead of lifting to avoid risk of personal injury.
  • Keep at least a three-day supply of water; one gallon per person per day
  • Keep at least a three-day supply of non-perishable, easy-to-prepare food
  • Flashlights
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
  • Extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Medications (seven-day supply) and medical items (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, etc.)
  • Multi-purpose tool
  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items
  • Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
  • Cell phone with chargers
  • Family and emergency contact information
  • Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
  • Pet supplies (food, carrier)
  • Tools/supplies for securing your home
  • Sand, rock salt or non-clumping kitty litter to make walkways and steps less slippery