A person shovels snow as part of their winter emergency preparedness.

Remember To Do This For Winter Emergency Preparedness

Don’t wait for a weather warning to start your winter emergency preparedness. Now is the time to start your action plan and prepare your home (and yourself) for a strong storm or blizzard.

In this article, we've compiled five steps to stay safe this winter. From stocking up on essential items to securing your house from danger, we're here to start your winter emergency preparedness off right.

How To Prepare For A Winter Emergency

Why Should I Start Early Winter Emergency Preparedness?

Planning ahead reduces stress and helps you cut costs on essential items. You can buy supplies at discount stores instead of panic-buying at a supermarket. You can stock up on salt to melt the snow or look for a high-quality shovel long before stocks run low.

Planning also allows you to troubleshoot any areas of your home prone to damage during a strong storm. You have time to take following the following steps:

  1. Inspect the roof
  2. Check the insulate pipes
  3. Cut or clear out big branches from your trees.

Winter emergency preparedness can bring peace and confidence to your life. Why wait until something unexpected happens when you can prepare right now?

1. Stock Up On Emergency Rations

You will need about a week’s worth of food and water (both for drinking, washing, and bathing). Consider the number of people in your household and your own needs. You may want to monitor your regular household consumption to get a realistic picture of what should be on your list.

Whatever you get, make sure it’s non-perishable because there’s a good chance you’ll lose electricity during a strong storm.

Here are some great options:

  • Canned goods
  • Dry goods like cereal and powdered milk
  • Instant soups
  • Water purifying tablets if you run out of drinking water

To save money, buy these items in bulk. You can even partner up with friends or neighbors who are also doing winter emergency preparedness to avail of bigger bulk discounts.

2. Make Sure You Have Enough Medicine And First Aid Supplies

This is an essential part of any winter emergency preparedness plan. Be sure to have the following items:

  • Maintenance medication for diabetes, heart disease, asthma, etc.
  • Painkillers
  • OTC medication for diarrhea, fever, colds, and other common ailments
  • Vitamins, especially those that will boost the immune system or fight infection
  • Gauze, disinfectant, and medicine for treating wounds
  • Hot water bottles
  • Thermometer

It’s also good to know basic first aid for treating sprains, open wounds, or even doing CPR. The Red Cross and other community centers regularly offer first aid courses and winter emergency preparedness classes. If these are not available, look for video instructions on Youtube, TikTok, or other popular apps.

Driving in heavy snow is a factor in winter emergency preparedness.

3. Prepare Emergency Kits

While you may be safe staying at home, any winter emergency preparedness plan should consider the worst-case scenario. Prepare house and car kits if the storm requires evacuation or if you get trapped in your car on the road.

Your “escape kit” should have the following items:

  • Medicines and other first-aid supplies
  • A two-way radio that can run on batteries
  • Waterproof flashlights with a long battery life
  • Extra batteries
  • Candles and waterproof matches
  • Whistles, flares, or other ways to signal for help
  • Thick blankets and sleeping bags
  • Power banks (fully charged) for electronic devices
  • Printed and digital copies of government IDs, health/home/car insurance policies, and other key documents
  • List of emergency numbers
  • List of family contact numbers

4. Prepare Your Home

One of the benefits of making an early winter emergency preparedness plan is that you can take extra steps to protect your home from storm damage and insulate your property against freezing winds and snow.

  • Improve insulation so that heat can’t escape, especially through doors, windows, and the roof. You can get insulation kits at the drugstore or ask a local contractor about improving insulation in the roof or attic where heat tends to escape.
  • Insulate the pipes. Extreme cold can cause water in the pipes to freeze and expand. This can cause pipes to burst, which will cut off the water supply and require a lot of repairs down the road.
  • Clear the yards of debris and loose items. Heavy winds can blow off branches, loose boards, and free-standing items like garden décor and equipment. Cut off any large branches near the roof (or if there are safety issues, ask a professional to do this for you). Store gardening equipment properly, remove hanging plants, and make sure all boards and roofings are secure.

5. Be Aware Of Safety Hazards

When people make a winter emergency preparedness plan, they often focus solely on the damage caused by snow, wind, and low temperatures. However, most injuries caused during storms are brought about by fire, carbon monoxide poisoning, heart attacks, and car accidents.

These injuries are caused by improper use of heating and electrical equipment and carelessness and overexertion after the storm ends.

Here are some steps you can take to avoid safety hazards:

  1. Don’t use grills or your oven to heat up your home. This will prevent fires and poisoning. Gas and coals release carbon monoxide, which is toxic when inhaled. Use heaters or wear extra layers of thick clothing to fight the cold.
  2. Make sure generators are placed outside and located several feet away from windows, doors, and other air passageways like vents.
  3. Inspect your fire alarm and invest in a fire extinguisher and circuit breaker. These can help prevent small fires from overtaking the property.

As for heart attacks and car accidents, common sense prevails. After the storm ends and you start clearing the snow and doing errands, err on the side of caution and make sure you don’t overexert yourself or travel on slippery roads.

An older Hispanic couple smiles after completing their winter emergency preparedness.

Disaster-Proof Your Finances With An Installment Loan

Do you need extra money to buy emergency supplies or safeguard your home from danger? Or, did the storm damage your car or home, and you need to get repairs ASAP?

Utah Title Loans, Inc. is here to help. Our installment loan can meet your urgent needs by offering you up to $1,500 for emergencies. Unlike other personal loans, you can pay off the loan in set monthly payments---instead of one lump sum.

Here's how you can get started today:

  1. Fill out the query form on our website.
  2. One of our loan representatives will call you to explain the process and explain how to qualify.
  3. Travel to one of our many branches across the state to present the following:
    • Driver’s License or State Issued I.D.
    • Proof of income (your most recent pay stub)
    • Checking account statement open in your name

The process can take as little as 30 minutes, and you'll get your money that day or the following business day! Inquire now and get your installment loan application going.

Note: The content provided in this article is only for informational purposes, and you should contact your financial advisor about your specific financial situation.

Daniel Dewitt

Daniel Dewitt is a lifetime blogger with a finely-honed ability to break down, analyze, and interpret economic trends for the layman. He's fiercely invested in spreading financial literacy and helping everyday people gain the tools they need for their own economic success.