When you’re in the middle of the summer, it’s easy to get lulled into a feeling that summer will never end. Days of beautiful sunny weather while sipping cool drinks by the pool can easily do that. But just as sure as the sun rises in the sky each morning, the seasons will change before you know it. Winter will set in, and the shortened hours of daylight compounded with the drop in temperature can be an abrupt reminder to stay prepared.
Don’t let winter sneak up on you this year. Even if you live where it is relatively warm year-round, it’s important to keep a few essential items on hand in case the power goes down and the cold keeps coming.
While you can make things complicated by purchasing a ton of extra gear like generators and portable heaters, it’s important to remember the fundamentals in case you must abandon your home. That’s why we came up with a simple, easy to remember guideline system to ensure that you are 100% ready to deal with the worst of the worst that winter has to throw at you.
- Keep your calories high
- Stay hydrated
- Dress in Layers
Let’s get started.
Keep Your Calories High
You need to make sure that you have a significant amount of shelf-stable food on hand so that way you can easily sustain yourself until help arrives. An easy way to make sure that you’re storing enough food is to weigh out about 2 lbs of food per person that you’re planning on feeding. Then multiply that number by the number of days that you plan on staying sheltered in place to give you a rough estimate on how much food you should keep on hand.
Another thing to consider as you stockpile your food resources is to collect a variety of food items that are calorically dense and easy to prepare. Freeze dried meals are a great option to have on hand as they contain a ton of extra calories and only need hot water to prepare.
But if you need to abandon your home because it’s no longer safe due to flooding from a burst pipe, it’s important to have food that is easily carried and contains the calories you need to keep going. These Survival Tablets are a great option to keep in your winter preparedness kit, as they fit the bill for being lightweight and calorically dense.
Interestingly enough, winter actually puts more demands on your body to stay hydrated than you’d think. The cold air often times freezes any humidity in the air, causing your body to lose moisture. If you’ve ever been outside when it’s cold enough to see your breath, you can visualize your body losing moisture right before your eyes! Those clouds of mist contain the water that your body needs to continue to function, making it very important that you remember to stay hydrated.
Winter storms often result in waterlines freezing. This is especially true in areas that typically don’t get very cold weather during most of the year. Those places sometimes don’t insulate their pipes very well, which results in catastrophic failures in the waterlines. At best, you won’t have enough water pressure to your faucets. At worst, the waterline froze inside your home and burst, forcing you to evacuate into the winter storm!
That’s why it is so important to make sure you have a means to purify your water. While you can absolutely boil water to purify it, consider the fact that you’d be burning fuel that you could use to keep yourself warm or to make your meals. For that reason, consider picking up some Water Purification Tablets and a water filtering system like this Water Filter Bottle. That way, you’ll be able to have safe water to drink regardless of where you find it and you’ll be able to keep up with your body’s demands for water despite the cold constantly trying to take it away from you.
Dress in Layers
Once your basic needs of food and water are covered, it’s time to consider how you’ll keep warm during a winter storm. One of the worst possible things that can happen is the power going down. This can result in your home being unable to stay warm, as the thermostat that controls the heater depends on a consistent flow of electricity to work. With that in mind, it’s really important to dress in layers to stay warm.
The best way to think about your layering system is to start from what is closest to your body and then move outwards. Hot air tends to move towards cold air, so it’s important to try to keep as much heat from escaping your body as you can. Long underwear is a great insulator that accomplished that task and can be easily worn under practically anything.
From there, consider getting a nice down jacket and some waterproof pants. Down is incredibly warm for how light it is. It’s easy to compress too, making it easy to store when not in use. Waterproof pants are also important to include in your layering system as they will ensure that you won’t get wet, which is a real problem in the cold. Being wet when it’s cold outside will bring your body temperature down even quicker than if you were dry, so be sure to invest in a good set of waterproof pants.
And finally, be sure to have plenty of warm sleeping bags on hand. Not only will they keep you warm when you sleep, but they can also be unzipped and used as a blanket if you need additional layers. That way, you can double the effectiveness of your down jacket!
While winter storms that knock out power grids and waterlines for weeks on end are extremely rare, it’s still important to be prepared for that sort of catastrophic event. We’ve seen in recent years several storms that were supposed to be “once in a century” type of storms happens uncomfortably frequently.
That’s why it’s important to remember the fundamentals of winter survival when putting together your supplies to outlast a winter storm:
- Keep your calories high
- Stay hydrated
- Dress in layers
If you can do those three things well, you’ll be prepared to weather the most terrible of winter storms.