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.
There are 12 key items to always have ready in your winter emergency kit.
- 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.
- Blankets – or sleeping bag for each person in your household.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Candles, matches and lighters – in case you need to create some heat or light a fire to keep warm.
- 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.
- Special items – like a full week of medications, pain relievers, formula and diapers if you have a baby, food for your animals.
- Basic toiletries – like hand sanitizer, toilet paper, soap, toothpaste and toothbrush, deodorant, moisturizer, contact lens products, feminine-hygiene products and birth control.
- Extra keys – good to have a set for your home and vehicles.
- 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.
- 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.