A homeowners, you are likely to have all sorts of things in your home right now that would serve you well in an emergency. It’s usually a first aid kit, which is kind of pretty standard that most homes have one of these, but there are so many other types of survival kits and important essentials you should have tucked away.
Lets not forget, the Winter season is drawing near. Hate it or love it, staying in fast becomes the new going out, and it’s important our homes are ready for it, as well as us!
So, as the cold starts to set in and everyone’s talking Netflix series and snuggling into onesies once again, let’s talk about Winter safety before it’s so cold you already need it.
Creating an emergency ‘survival’ kit for your home can be a simple task tor an enormous task – depending on how much time and energy (and money!) you wish to invest in it. And it completely depends on where in the world you live, the size of your house, etc etc…
Below, we’ve put together a list of items to consider keeping in your at-home Winter Survival kit. But don’t worry, we’ve gone down the “stay warm and stay happy until the power comes back on” theme, and not the more outrageous “prepared for zombie apocalypse” theme.
The best way is to adjust and amend some of the suggestions below to suit your individual needs:
1.Think about back-up heat:
For most of us, heating our homes and keeping them toasty throughout the cold weather is the most important thing. If preparing for a winter storm is something that happens each year, then it’s most likely you live somewhere with icy winter conditions and deep snow fall.
If the unfortunate situation of a power cut happens and you’re left with no heating, remember that back up forms of heat must be both safe and comfortable for you and the house. An emergency stash of thermal blankets, spare duvets and thick jumpers (along with socks and gloves!) are great to keep as a back-up, especially if the power cut is just temporary.
However, fireplaces and other combustion-based sources of heat are less than ideal compared to the efficiency and safety of a central furnace, but when operated properly can help keep you warm until power and order are restored.
You absolutely need to make sure that whatever alternative source of heat you plan on using during an outage is clean, operational, and that everyone who will be using it understands how to use it safely. One of the most advised items to make sure you have is a generator, which provides backup power when an outage happens. There are so many different types out there which can be stored in the garage until you need them. To generate electrical energy to your home, you might want to look at a diesel generator for sale, which uses a diesel engine with an electric generator.
2. Keep Updating Your Semi-Perishable Food
It’s handy to keep a good variety of canned goods and bottles of water, which will keep well enough. However, these don’t last forever, and if you’re survival kit doesn’t get used one year which then goes to another, you might forget about those use-by dates.
Arranging your food cupboards so that cans don’t linger at the back ensures that when you’re snowed in, you’ll be eating fresh canned fruits and vegetables instead of the old ones that have been forgotten about. Or, every now and again when you do a big food shop, add some new canned and bottled goods in, and add them to your emergency kit, and swap out some that have been in there for a few months.
3. Make Sure You Have Batteries and Flashlights To Hand
Batteries are a lifesaver when it comes to a power outage, especially if it’s not going to last too long. But there is nothing worse than reaching for your flashlight to realise it’s batteries are dead – and you have no spares in the house.
Sure, a supply of matches and candles are brilliant to keep in your survival kit, but do remember that hundreds of house fires are started every year during power outages, due to candle mis-use. It’s not clever to light up candles en masse to brighten your dark homes.
A large supply of batteries and sufficient flash lights for each family member is more than enough.
5.Tools and Materials for Emergency Repairs:
Everyone needs some basic materials in the house for any emergency repairs that may happen. It’s more about having items like heavy duty plastic sheeting and duct tape to hand, which might not have the insulation value you need if a tree was to fall into your window, but it will keep hot air from drafting right outside.
Spare wood, sheets of plastic, duct tape and a generator are amongst the top emergency items to ensure you don’t lose heat when a storm hits, and causes damage to your house.
6. Stay Well Stocked
As soon as you get a bad weather warning or alerts of a big freeze coming, make sure you action your food supplies and emergency items quickly. There is nothing worse than putting your safety at risk by leaving the house and driving in bad conditions, because you simply didn’t stock up in time.
If you live in an area where weather can keep you holed up, you need to get into the practice of shopping ahead. Or, as soon as those weather warnings arise, action straight away and get everything you need. The same principle applies to non-food items like batteries, salt and sand for your walk and driveway, and keeping your fuel topped up in your car, too.
It can sound extreme, but the most important part in preparing for weather and power outages is to run through potential scenarios which could happen, causing you to need that emergency survival kit. Then simply asses your home and your current stockage situations, and plan accordingly. Fingers crossed for a not-so-harsh winter!