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Going into winter without a plan for a potential blizzard can be a big mistake no matter where you live – we’ve seen a few inches of snow paralyze southern cities in recent times, while feet of snow have buried northern areas of the country. If you don’t have a blizzard plan by now, it’s about time to put one together. Today we’ll look at steps you can take in and around your house to be ready for a heavy snowfall.
Have a Generator, and Make Sure It Is Ready
We’ve discussed choosing the right generator and making sure your generator is properly maintained in the past. If a blizzard looks like it is coming your way, it’s a good idea to start your generator up and make sure it doesn’t need any last minute fixes before the storm hits.
Check the Area Around the House for Dangers
One of the biggest peripheral dangers from a blizzard is the strain one can put on trees, large shrubs, and power lines. You can’t move the poles for the power lines, but you can make sure that they are not in danger from falling or toppling trees and shrubs. Plenty of property damage and power outages are caused by a tree limb that is brought down in a storm, so do your best to trim back limbs that threaten power lines, your house, or your vehicles.
Have Multiple Snow Removal Options
You don’t want to hinge your ability to get out of the house on one piece of equipment, so make sure you have more than just the snow blower or plow attachment for your tractor. A walk-behind snow blower or even a smaller snow thrower, along with multiple shovels, is worth having on hand.
Stock Up on Necessities
Stocking up for a blizzard might seem a bit like you’re preparing for an extended camping trip – or the apocalypse. But as we’ve seen with blizzards in recent times, you can never be sure how long you may be without power and other service, or without the ability to go anywhere.
- Water – A blizzard can also bring frozen pipes or contamination, so make sure to have a number of jugs of bottled water on hand for drinking and cooking
- Non-perishable food – You may lose power, and that could mean your fridge going down. Make sure you have canned foods, MREs, or freeze-dried “just add water” meals on hand, enough for a few days at least.
- Alternate light sources – No one likes being in the dark, so make sure you have various light sources available, including candles, flashlights, and even an wind-up LED Lantern that also has a USB outlet for charging a mobile phone in an emergency.
- Emergency Kit – Every home should have a well-stocked emergency kit for general usage, not just for blizzards.
- A hand-cranked radio – It might seem a bit old-fashioned in this technology age, but a massive blizzard can render all of that technology useless pretty quick. Thankfully, radios still work fine in blizzards, and a hand-cranked radio such as the Eton MicroLink that can also charge a phone or run off of solar energy can certainly be a life-saver.
Consider Alternate Heat Sources
You’ll need a way to stay warm if the power cuts out. In fact, this is a reason why there has been an uptick in the purchase and installations of pellet stoves, wood stoves, and fireplaces in the northern states in recent times. If you have one of these, or can have one installed, it’s great for warmth in a blizzard. If not, you’ll need a heater that is safe for enclosed-space usage, such as the Buddy heater or an old-school Perfection heater. If you use these, a CO2 detector is a wise investment – a number of deaths during blizzards have been attributed to poorly-ventilated heating set-ups. Dress warmly, make use of blankets and sleeping bags, and seal off anywhere that heat may escape.
So be ready for a blizzard, or any other natural disaster that might be headed your way. Sure, you might not need it this winter or the next, but it never hurts to be ready for the future.