East Village, New York, United States @jeffreyblum
Article by Dillon Dubois
Winter storms (and their warnings) seem to grow more alarming each and every year. When you start hearing terms like “bomb cyclone” and how they could “wreak havoc” on impacted areas, you know things are serious. Thankfully, there’s a good handful of precautionary measures you can take to mitigate the potential damage to you, your loved ones, and your possessions. For everything from driving techniques to emergency kits, here are the best ways to prepare for a winter storm.
Stock up on Food
Although this may be the most obvious, it’s not worth overlooking. Once you get word of a winter storm warning, make sure you take some time to pack your pantry with lots of healthy, non-perishable foods. Granola bars, nuts, and canned goods are all excellent options. Going hand-in-hand with food is water. Head to your local store and grab some large gallon-sized bottles of water in case your pipes happen to malfunction.
Service Your Furnace
Once a year, your furnace needs to be serviced -- no questions asked. Skipping this can cause it to break down at any time, including during a winter storm when you’ll be needing it most. The DIY types can get the job done in under a few hours and about $20, but otherwise just reach out to your HVAC technician and take care of it before the coldest months hit.
Re-Familiarize Yourself With Winter Driving
If the storm comes on suddenly, chances are you’re not going to be in ready position when it hits. If you’re caught out on the road, you’re going to thank yourself for the time you spent brushing up on winter driving tips. Knowing to accelerate and decelerate slowly, knowing your breaks, how to start from second gear (as this minimizes tire slippage), and how to apply your own chains may be the difference in your safety.
Prepare Emergency Kits
Emergency kits are a must-have household item any time of the year, but especially before a winter storm. Stock up on flashlights, extra batteries, whistles to signal for help, portable gas-fueled campings stoves, hygienic products, and more. Make sure you know your entire family’s health issues and the medicine they may require for up to one week.
Stock Up On Warmers
Heat Factory's Hand Warmers are commonly thought of as a product to stay extra toasty while doing the activities you love, they could also be the difference between a terrible and a not-so-terrible winter storm experience. Having a pack of long-lasting (up to 10 hours) warmers ready in both your home and car is a pro tip that is genuinely worth considering.
Learn Basic Cold Weather First-Aid
The most pressing dangers involved in a winter storm are frostbite and hypothermia, hands down. If your pre-storm preparedness fails, you’ll need to rely on some basic cold weather first aid techniques. Get up to speed on what to do and what not to do when symptoms first arise.
Grab a Crank-Powered Flashlight Radio
Perhaps the most useful thing you’ll need during a winter storm is up-to-date information. In the time leading up to and during the storm, staying updated is priceless. For this we recommend getting your hands on a crank-powered flashlight radio. While it’s not the sexiest piece of technology, it will get the job done. If WiFi and phone signals are down, radio is the most surefire way to get important information.