Winter is coming soon. I live where it goes down to 50 degrees at best during the height of winter, but some people actually live where it gets COLD during the winter, not just chilly. That means long coats, warm fires, winter wonderlands and cranking up the heater. But what would happen if the heater went out? Are you prepared for that?
‘Sure,’ you say. ‘I have my Bug-out-bag all ready in case of emergency.’
But it’s nearly winter now – the days of just t-shirts and shorts are over. That means it’s time to unpack your emergency survival kit, remove summer items, add winter items, and repack, feeling secure in the fact that you are prepared.
Before you can build your winter emergency kit, it’s important to differentiate between two types of survival kits: an Emergency Car Kit and an Emergency Home Kit. Obviously, each kit stays in its own territory, so you can have emergency supplies whether there’s an earthquake close to home, shutting off power, or if your car runs off the road into the side of the mountain cutting your power and killing the engine. (Um, yes, this has happened to me – just not in a snowstorm, luckily.) The following list has ideas for additions to both your Car kit and your Home kit.
Car and Home Emergency Survival kits – Alterations for Wintertime
Now, this is NOT the entire kit – it’s just a list of season-specific additions to your pre-existing survival kit.
- Tire Chains: If you live in a cold region, you know what these are. If you are visiting a place where snow and ice are on the roads, it’s time to learn – you should always keep a set of chains in your trunk to wrap around your tires for extra traction so you won’t get stuck in the snow or ice as easily.
- Portable First Aid kit: Make sure this kit includes care for winter injuries specifically. (For example, include some cotton balls to keep your fingers from sticking together in the event of frostbite)
- Sunglasses: The ice and snow can get pretty bright, so pack some sunglasses to protect your eyes against the glare.
- Kindling in a water-proof container: In case you need a fire, this will keep your kindling from getting wet, therefore unusable.
- Lipbalm/lotion: Cracked lips and skin are even more likely to happen in the winter, so bring plenty of this in case your skin gets too dry.
- Winter Clothing: This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to get rid of all your summer clothing, because some of it would be good for layering, but it does mean that you need at least a coat, a pair of gloves and soft/thick socks, as well as soft and woolly beanies and heavy overcoats and/or a sweater.
- Blankets: As with the clothing, a good tip for bringing fabric with you is to roll it as neatly and tightly as you can, then wrap tape around it, forming a cylinder. Then place the items in a large Ziploc bag with the other clothing “cylinders” and squeeze the air out of the bag to complete the space-saving.
- Higher Calorie Food: Replace your food (also checking for expiration dates) with higher calorie food to compensate for the extra energy your body will be burning as you try to stay warm.
- Plenty of Firewood and kindling within reach: always keep a pile of this close by even year-round, but especially during the chilly months.
- Snowshoes: Yes, this seems a bit extreme, but you never know!
- Cat litter: Use cat litter to help your car out of a mess – that is, when you put cat litter around your tires when you’re stuck in snow, it helps them get un-stuck so you’re back on your way!
- An extra tank of gas: You never know when this might be handy!
- Shovel: You never know when you’ll need to dig your way out of snow or mud, and the shovel doubles as a defense measure, just in case!
Winter is officially on the way. How will you prepare for winter so that you know you and your family are protected?