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Weather the Storm, Safely

We may not be able to control the weather, but we can control how we stay prepared. See what you'll need to stay ready for the weather.

Planning and preparing can make a big difference in safety and resiliency in the wake of a winter storm. The ability to maintain or quickly recover following a winter storm requires a focus on preparedness, planning, and knowing what to do in the event of a winter storm.

You may not be home when the storm starts, so it’s important to have basic supplies of food and water as well as a way to stay warm without power, in several locations (like your workplace, car, or school). Gathering the necessary supplies doesn’t need to break the bank, either, chances are you probably have a lot of these things on hand—it’s just a matter of gathering them and keeping them accessible in the event of an emergency.

Emergency Communication: Make sure you have a cellphone, walkie-talkie to neighbors, or access to email available—having a portable charger available is also a smart idea.

Medical Needs: Be equipped to tend to any current or unexpected medical conditions by having the appropriate medications, bandages, and prescriptions on hand. A good rule of thumb is to have at least three days’ worth of required medication, and for those with assistive technology needs, it’s smart to have a backup battery or generator.

Critical Documents: Place any important documents in a sealed, waterproof container to keep them dry and accessible.

Tools & Safety Items: Matches, flashlights, a multitool, a pocket-knife, and a whistle (to signal for help) can make a huge difference for your family while weathering the storm.

Food/Supplies: Have at least a three-days supply of non-perishable food and water for your family. Remember to store anything specific to your family’s needs like baby food and formula for infants.

Warm Clothing & Blankets: This seems like a no-brainer but having warm, waterproof, and protective clothing available is critical in preventing hypothermia.

Ask Yourself: “What would I need for myself and my family if a winter storm struck?” and “What would I do if I didn’t have access to a grocery store or pharmacy for at least three days?” Add any of those specific items to your Winter Preparedness Kit.