A bad winter storm can leave you cut off from the outside world for an extended period of time. It’s important that you’re ready to ride out the weather safely. In winter, that means not only considering having safe shelter and sustenance, but also the ability to stay warm. Here’s what you should consider keeping in your winter survival kit.
Essential items for a winter survival kit
- Keep 7 days' worth of water — one gallon per person, per day — in your winter survival kit.
- 7 days' worth of non-perishable food and a manual can opener if needed.
- Rock salt or more environmentally safe products to melt ice on walkways. Visit the Environmental Protection Agency for a full list of suggested products.
- Sand to make traction better.
- Snow shovels and other snow removal equipment.
- Have plenty of heating fuel. Store a good supply of dry, seasoned wood for your fireplace or wood-burning stove.
- Have enough clothing and blankets to keep you warm and a sleeping bag or heavy blanket for each person.
- Battery powered or hand-crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries
- Backup cell phone batteries and car chargers.
- Flashlight and extra batteries.
- A first-aid kit — this can be premade/purchased or you can build your own.
- Whistle to signal for help.
- Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting with duct tape to shelter-in-place.
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags, and ties for personal sanitation.
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities.
Other items to include in your winter survival kit
- Prescription medications, glasses, and other must-have medical products.
- Important documents, such as insurance policies, identifications, and bank records, in a waterproof, portable container.
- Hygiene supplies such as toilet paper, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and feminine hygiene products.
- Infant formula, diapers, pet food and extra water.
- Coins, cash, or traveler’s checks.
- Matches kept in a waterproof container.
- Disposable utensils, plates, napkins.
- A copy of your keys (house, car, etc.).