Prepare ahead of time so you and your family can wait out a storm in comfort and safety.
From ice storms to bitter blizzards, to hurricanes and tornadoes, the weather can be hard to predict. Harder still is knowing how best to prepare for winter emergencies like a loss of power or getting snowed in. How you prep for a weather emergency can make a difference in your comfort and safety, so take early precautions and prepare for the unexpected.
If you can't leave your home, you'll need a good supply of water and nonperishable foods on hand. Ready.gov recommends storing at least one gallon of water per person per day. It's a good idea to stock up on a seven-day water supply to keep on hand in case of a weather emergency. Then, focus on nonperishable food items, such as:
Canned fruits and vegetables that can be eaten without being heated
Whole wheat crackers
You hope that a winter storm doesn't injure you or your family members, but it never hurts to be prepared. Make sure that you stock a first aid kit with all of the things you might need in case of an emergency. Bandages and antibiotic ointment are a great place to start; then, add pain relievers, allergy medications, and any children's medicines you might need like children's Tylenol or a cough and flu medicine.
If you take prescription drugs, make sure you have them filled before a weather emergency is expected to hit your area. That way, you can continue taking your medications safely during the weather emergency. If possible, head to your local Rite Aid to speak with your Pharmacist about managing your medications in case of an evacuation. They can help you locate a Rite Aid Pharmacy near your evacuation site, refill your current medications, and advise you on your individual needs. If time is of the essence, easily refill your prescriptions online or with your Rite Aid app, which allows you to refill prescriptions in a snap by scanning your existing medication labels.
Keep all of your medication and first aid supplies in one container, so you can quickly grab and go in case of an unexpected emergency or evacuation.
If a winter storm causes power outages, staying warm and comfortable will be one of your most important tasks, or if you're in the south you may need to keep cool without AC. Keep extra blankets, scarves, and gloves in an easily accessible, dry place and make sure you have enough for the whole family. You can also purchase heat pouches that are great for slipping into socks and pockets. If you're in a warmer area, stay out of the sun, drink plenty of water and wear cool, loose clothing.
Before you lose power, ensure you have emergency power or light sources on hand. Flashlights and extra batteries are a must, as well as power banks that can be used to charge phones for quick communication.
Plan on using a generator to keep power going? Make sure you follow safety rules to ensure your generator doesn't cause further problems. Always make sure your generator is clean and dry before you start it and never touch it with wet hands. Generators should always be placed outside in a well-ventilated area with carbon monoxide detectors placed throughout your home to alert you of buildup.
Storms and unusual weather are a normal part of life, but the way you prepare for a weather emergency can make all the difference if things take a turn for the worse. While it's impossible to predict when one will hit, taking ten minutes to create a plan, locate your supplies, and prepare a bag can keep you and your family safe during a weather emergency.
By Jae Curtis
These articles are not a substitute for medical advice, and are not intended to treat or cure any disease. Advances in medicine may cause this information to become outdated, invalid, or subject to debate. Professional opinions and interpretations of scientific literature may vary. Consult your healthcare professional before making changes to your diet, exercise, or medication regime.