Create a Home Emergency Kit this Winter
January 7, 2015
One of the most inconvenient things that can happen during winter is a prolonged power outage. An outage that lasts more than a couple hours can become quite uncomfortable and potentially dangerous as your house loses heat.
The best way to handle a winter power outage is to have a winter emergency kit ready for use in your home. A kit will take up only a small amount of room in your house and will give you peace of mind in case an emergency does arise.
Some of the main things to have in a winter emergency kit are:
- Blankets – warm blankets will trap body heat and keep the people in your home warmer for longer. Of course, you can always use blankets you have around the house but if you feel like going the extra mile, Mylar emergency blankets are a good investment. They are compact, lightweight and help retain more body heat than any other blanket. Used with other blankets, you will be able to fend off any chill.
- Flashlights – While you won’t have to worry during the day, once darkness falls it will be very useful to have a flashlight. From finding a misplaced item to helping guide someone through the darkness, a flashlight will always come in handy.
- A battery-operated radio – These little beauties are so underrated! They cost very little and help keep you in the know about any news regarding the outage.
- Batteries – What is the point of having these great battery-operated gadgets if you can’t power them? Have a supply of all major battery sizes so you don’t have to worry if there is a prolonged outage.
- A portable battery charger for your phone – This is especially important if you don’t have a landline. If your cell phone is your only means of communication during a power outage, it is important to keep it available for use. A decent portable charger only costs about $20 and once you have given it a chance to build up an energy store, can give you many precious hours of extra battery life.
- Water – The better you maintain your body, the better you body will withstand a challenging environment. Make sure you have enough water for all family members; about two litres a day. If possible, keep more than two days’ worth of emergency water stocked at any given time.
- Non-perishables – Packing a few boxes of granola or protein bars with your emergency kit can come in very handy. In the event of a longer outage, canned food could also be a good choice. If you are storing canned food, make sure you have a can opener in your kit. It is best to stock your emergency kit with foods that don’t require heating as many camping stoves or similar products can be very dangerous to use indoors without proper ventilation.
Candles – Candles are great for light and heat, so make sure to have a few on hand. You can buy proper emergency candles at many camping stores. They are made to throw off heat and have a long burn-life. These candles are by far the best kind to have in an emergency. Keep matches with your candles as well! Make sure to store them in an air- and watertight container so that they will work when you need them.
- Propane Heater – If you are in a bitterly cold area or have power failures regularly, a propane heater can be a figurative, if not literal, lifesaver. Make sure to buy an indoor model and don’t leave it unattended. Also, make sure that it is in a well-ventilated place and follow all of the operating instructions.
Most of the items that are on this list can already be found around your house and the others will take up about one shelf in a linen closet. It’s easy to pull all of these things together and create a kit that will keep you and your family safe.
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