Winter Storms Are Coming, Are You Prepared?
Nov. 17, 2015
âIt looks like itâs going to be another bad winterâ is almost as much of a cliche as âitâs not the heat, itâs the humidity.â But cliches get it right sometimes, and this winter is shaping up to be a real doozy. So says the âOld Farmerâs Almanac,â a popular source of weather prognostication for over two centuries. It states, "Winter will be cold again in much of the nation, with below-normal temperatures along most of the Atlantic seaboard and in the Ohio Valley, Great Lakes, Pacific Northwest, and southwestern states." It goes on to say that snowfall will be greater than normal in much of the nation. The Weather Channel mostly agrees, but speculates that El Nino in the Pacific Ocean might put off colder weather until later in the winter. But then again, maybe not. So goes long-range weather forecasting, an uncertain science at best. But one thing is for certain, you need to be personally prepared for the worst Mother Nature can dish out.
STORM PREPAREDNESSEven if youâre lucky enough to live in a part of the country where winter weather woes arenât a concern, you still need to be prepared. Here are some things you should always have on hand just in case, and keep in mind they make great holiday gifts for friends and relatives too.
- Food and water. Obviously, if you canât get out of the house or youâre stranded somewhere, having some basic staples is essential. The average person uses a gallon of water per day, so plan accordingly. Canned goods and military Meals Ready to Eat (MRE) are non-perishable and easy to store. Make sure you have a can opener handy, and keep some of these things in your car, too.
- Radio and phone. A battery-powered or hand-cranked radio should be part of your gear to keep up with the latest news and reports, and donât forget to plan to keep your cell phone functioning too, with extra batteries and chargers.
- Extra blankets and clothes. If the heat goes out during a winter storm, even in areas with mild winters, youâll need extra layers of insulation pretty quickly. Plan to have enough extras on hand for any visitors who may be with you, and keep an emergency blanket in your car, also.
- First aid kit. This is something you should always have in your home and car, but just as importantly you should have the knowledge to use it effectively. You probably will; youâre a health care professional!
- Tool kit. Some basic hand tools, along with some duct tape and plastic sheeting, can save lives.