As winter approaches and parts of the country continue to grapple with the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, it’s safe to say that we need to stay prepared for the threat of these types of natural disasters just in case more hit in 2022. If we’ve learned anything from living through years of hurricane seasons and winter storms, it’s that rough winds, flooding, snow, and ice are no joke. Sure, a light dusting or rain shower might be easy to handle, but a true hurricane, nor’easter, or ice storm can throw an entire city into chaos, and there are certain must-haves you need to make sure you’re prepared for a winter storm appropriately. You know, the kind of items you keep in your basement and only take out when the time calls.
It goes without saying that natural disasters like snowstorms and hurricanes can get quite dangerous. Icy sidewalks, dead car batteries, power loss — these weather-related issues can easily cause a serious emergency if handled improperly. That’s why we recommend keeping a list of all the supplies and tools you’ll need in case of a bad snowstorm, tropical storm or hurricane. It’s the smartest thing you can do to keep you and your family safe if a disaster happens to strike. If you’re looking for a starter emergency kit, you could always opt for a pre-packed survival kit like Judy or Sustain Supply and other supplies as you go along. Or you could take the à la carte approach and create an emergency kit of your own with some of the supplies below.
If you’re making a list, always consider the worst-case scenarios. Here are some options to think about adding to your emergency kit in preparation:
- Water for 72 hours
- Canned foods
- Portable generators
- Portable phone chargers
- Hats, gloves, scarves, etc.
- Jumper cables
- Snow melting salt
- Snow shovels
- Car snow brushes
- Extra blankets
- Full tank of gas
- Refills of important prescriptions
- Passports, IDs, and other important documents
Of course, this list is subject to change depending on your particular situation, but we think it’s better to be safe than sorry. Heck, at least you’ll have them on hand for next time.
If a big storm is on course to hit your area in the coming days or weeks, be sure to keep the following items in mind to help you survive.
1. Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 240
We’ve consistently rated Jackery’s Explorer line one of the best portable generators, but we shoulld note that you need the solar panels in order for this to operate as a true generator, otherwise it’s a (still great) power station that needs to be charged in advance. No matter how you use, it can be key to getting through a storm, many of which are often followed by blackouts. While this could be cause for some cute scary stories in the dark and forts in the living room with your kiddos, for others, it can cause a lack of heat, spoiled food and lack of everyday necessities.
Jackery’s Portable Power Station Explorer 240 is one of our favorite portable generators for smaller parts of the home, but the brand has a number of more powerful generators to consider if you want to power more of the house. Any power source when the lights go off is more than needed, and we’re sure Jackery will do a great job getting the deed done.
2. GearLight LED Flashlight Pack
You can never really anticipate when the power will actually go out. Maybe it will happen in the middle of the day when you can still manage around the house with natural lighting or maybe it happens in the dead of night in the middle of a family movie marathon. If it’s the latter, it’s best to keep a flashlight or two in a spot you can easily get to help you see around your home. This flashlight pack from GearLight is one of the highest-rated flashlight options on Amazon with one of the brightest LED lights you can imagine. Plus, the pack is totally affordable.
3. Duracell Coppertop AA Batteries with Power Boost
Having a supply of batteries is of utmost importance during a power outage. They’ll be a necessity for flashlights, emergency radios, and other important items you may need amidst an emergency. Be sure to grab AA, AAA and other types that your emergency devices may take.
4. True Temper 1603400 Poly Snow Shovel
If you’re headed into a snowstorm without a shovel, good luck. We’ll see you when the snow melts. A snow shovel is beyond important during a winter storm. From your front stoop to your driveway to your sidewalk to your stuck-in-snow car, a good snow shovel is a snowstorm’s best friend. This shovel from True Temper can handle snow up to 18-inches and is durably made for year after year of snowstorms.
5. First Aid Only First Aid Kit
You never really know what can happen during a storm, but we have to keep it real: injuries are most certainly one of them. From banging your head in dark homes without power to slipping and falling on ice, injuries powered by storms aren’t uncommon in the slightest. Keeping a first-aid kit handy for those just-in-case moments is a no-brainer. This one comes with 298 different pieces total for whatever comes your way.
6. Midland – ER10VP Emergency Alert Radio
An emergency radio will be a must-have in the event of a power outage. It will immediately alert you of incoming inclement weather and doubles as a flashlight with high, low, and SOS strobe functions in case of emergency. The compact design means you can fit it in any bag or pocket during travel and the AM/FM radio gives you access to news, weather and other entertainment.
7. Anker Portable Charger
It’s 2022. Your iPhone is essentially another body part at this point. Imagine it dies when the power is out. Then what? No Twitter? No Instagram? Endless hours of TikTok — gone. Okay, well, it’s also great for emergency purposes. We can’t forget about that, either. Anker’s Portable Charger is one of the top-rated portable chargers on Amazon. It can charge your iPhone twice over and even charge other smart devices like Androids and tablets. Because being left in the dark is one thing, but being left in the dark without your phone? Well, that’s a completely different ballpark.
8. OZERO Winter Gloves
You’re not going outside in the winter snow without a pair of gloves, right? Frostbite ain’t a joke, folks. Winter gloves are essential for any time you have to head out of the house in snowy weather. These gloves from OZERO on Amazon are top-tier for their full-throttle, cold-proof properties. Each glove can withstand temperatures as low as -30°F with insulation that doesn’t go unrecognized. In addition, gloves are both water-resistant and windproof to keep your hands cozy even in the middle of a blizzard.
9. Zyliss Lock N’ Lift Can Opener
You’ll want to have a manual can opener on hand to open can goods in the event that there’s a food shortage or a power outage that prevents you from cooking refrigerated foods. This handheld opener is smooth, easy to use and features a built-in magnet that removes the lid lifts the lid off for simple clean up after use.
10. Snow Joe AZ-25-EB Melt-2-Go Ice Melter
To prepare for icy conditions (which, like, always acclimates after a snowstorm), you’re going to need to salt your front stoop, walkway and driveway to minimize any slippery conditions. While regular snow-melting ice is a great option, it isn’t always the most nature and pet-friendly option to work with. Snow Joe’s Melt-2-Go Ice Melter is a stellar alternative that is safe to handle and works to keep the environment and pets safe. It goes to work ASAP upon contact with ice and prevents any more accumulation in total.
11. Bedsure Sherpa Fleece Throw Blanket
We talked about chilly temperatures outside, but what about chilly temperatures inside? You could have the best furnace in the world but if you encounter a power outage, it’s not going to help much. It’s best to keep a couple of extra blankets in communal areas of the house for added comfort. Because a blanketless snow day is a snow day nobody wants to be part of.
12. NOCO Boost Plus Jump Starter Box
If you leave your car off for a couple of days in inclement weather, there’s a solid chance that when you try and turn it back on, it simply won’t. That’s why a jump starter box is necessary to have on hand to save you that AAA call. This one from NOCO is easily one of the highest-rated on Amazon with over 40,000 5-star reviews total.
13. Mallory Snowbrush with Ice Scraper
Icy windshields, snow-covered roofs, frosty mirrors — you can’t drive with these. Even if you aren’t driving, clean off your car with a snowbrush and an ice scraper before the snow hardens, because that will make it even harder to deal with later on. This snowbrush/ice scraper from Mallory is a necessity for any winter storm. Simply keep it in your car’s trunk for when you need to get some cleaning done.
Come on. You’re stuck in the house. What else is there to do? A couple of drinks only add to a more exciting time in the great indoors. While we absolutely do not suggest making a Drizly driver stop by in the middle of a storm, maybe stock up the bar cart before the liquor stores close.