The average grocery store stocks only 72 hours worth of supplies. THREE DAYS.
Y’all, it’s Winter. It’s supposed to be the worst one in recent memory. GET SUPPLIES. Even if you can shovel your car out, there is no guarantee you can get to a store (or that the store will have anything left) if the streets are three feet high with snow or covered in black ice.
Plan Ahead! DO NOT wait until the news announces a storm coming that night. The shelves will be empty. Buy a little bit extra each paycheck. It will add up.
* Get extra charcoal or gas for your grill if you have an electric stove. You want to be able to eat hot food if there is no electricity.
* Make sure to have food on hand that can be cooked on said grill.
* Have decent food on hand that can be eaten without being cooked (sandwiches, canned fruit/veggies, granola bars…).
* Flashlights with new batteries.
* Candles (did you know that setting your candle or a flashlight in front of a reflective surface magnifies the amount of light sent out? Mirrors are awesome that way).
* Medications. What if you are blocked in for two weeks (I have a lot of friends in high mountain elevations)? You will need to make sure you have what you need.
* Baby formula, if you use it.
* Things for the kids to do without electricity. Board games. Dolls. Trucks. Army men. Fort building supplies! Books.
* Think about blankets. If you put them in the attic and haven’t seen them in a year, go ahead and wash them now, just in case.
* Think about water. You will want about 1 gallon per person per day. That is the absolute minimum for cooking, brushing teeth, washing faces, and drinking.
* Toilet Paper (that is something you do NOT want to run out of!)
What about an alternative heat source? Get a kerosene heater and fuel. Look up how to make a clay pot heater. Stock up on whatever your fireplace uses (propane, wood, duralogs, whatever).
When we were extremely financially challenged one winter, we spent about $11 week on clear, clean burning kerosene (Home Depot Paint Dept). We put blankets over door openings and kept only the living room, dining room, and kitchen heated. We were quite cozy in there.
Don’t forget to keep a stash in your car. If you are stranded during the winter, you could need blankets, extra clothing, non-perishable food, water, a couple of days of medications, kitty litter for traction, a tool kit, a jack, spare tire, first aid kit, even flares could be a good idea if you regularly travel for long stretches where there is not a lot of traffic.
Please plan ahead and don’t be caught without essentials. I keep hearing stories of unprepared people. Plan ahead. I am sure there is a lot more I could list, but this is just to get you thinking. If you can think of an essential category I have not touched upon, please leave a comment. Let’s help each other out.
Please be safe, my friends…