Get ready for the deep freeze: Winter emergency tips

Winter preparedness tips

Are you ready for the deep freeze? After coming off a year like 2020, being prepared in things you can control can bring a sense of calm and have you ready for whatever winter brings.

There are two instances you’ll want to be prepared for: winter emergency situations, as well as preparation for snow, freezing rain, cold and power outages.

In winter emergency situations, it’s wise to have a kit ready, so should the need arise, all you need to do is grab and go. You can buy a kit through St. John’s Ambulance, The Salvation Army, Canadian Red Cross or other retailers across Canada or put together your own kit.

In emergency situations, it’s wise to have a kit readyThere are 12 key items to always have ready in your winter emergency kit.

  1. Food and water – a must have. You want to make sure you have two litres of water for every person in your household, and throwing in some small bottles is also a good idea. Canned goods, energy bars and dried foods are also key and have a long shelf life.
  2. Blankets – or sleeping bag for each person in your household.
  3. Manual can opener – your canned goods are only good if you can open them, and adding some disposable utensils, like forks, knives and spoons is also handy.
  4. Flashlight – it’s nice to see where you are going. Wind-up is best, but if you use a flashlight that is battery operated, be sure to pack extra batteries.
  5. Radio – you want to keep connected and informed on the latest announcements. Like your flashlight, a wind-up is ideal so you just have to rely on your own power to wind it up, but if you opt for a radio with batteries, bring extra.
  6. Candles, matches and lighters – in case you need to create some heat or light a fire to keep warm.
  7. First aid – include the basics like antibiotic ointment, antiseptic solution, Band-Aids, sterile gauze, adhesive tape and eye patches, scissors/tweezers/safety pins, disposable non-latex gloves and masks and thermometer, or purchase a full kit from a trusted supplier like The Salvation Army.
  8. Special items – like a full week of medications, pain relievers, formula and diapers if you have a baby, food for your animals.
  9. Basic toiletries – like hand sanitizer, toilet paper, soap, toothpaste and toothbrush, deodorant, moisturizer, contact lens products, feminine-hygiene products and birth control.
  10. Extra keys – good to have a set for your home and vehicles.
  11. Cash – if there is a power outage, having cash, $10 and $20s is a good idea. Remember, cash and debit machines are likely not working, so you need cash on hand.
  12. Documents – good to have list of medications, proof of address, copies of health cards, passports, birth certificates.

With a bit of preparation and your emergency kit at hand, you’ll have a better chance of staying safe during the winter months.