Have a plan........
As always, the key to all this is to have a plan. Plan out what you think you’ll face and what you’d need to deal with it and plan out what you’ll do during your stay at home if the power goes out and it’s freezing and storming out.
If a tree falls on your home.....
The first thing to do is to make sure everyone is OK. If you feel unsafe, you pretty much need to just leave the property,
If wires are down, call the police and the power company. Then, call the insurance company.
Take pictures or video of the damage, if you can.
You and 500 people are trying to get help. The officials involved get to it as quickly as they can. There isn't a whole lot to do other than wait it out.
You’re going about your everyday life and a nasty winter storm hits. Your power goes out, and you’re completely snowed in without a chance of getting out. You quickly realize your house will soon start to get cold, real cold!
If the Power goes out........
Obviously, heat is the big issue here. Doesn’t matter what kind of supplies you have at home if you freeze to death. There are a few things you can do to help keep you warm when it’s freezing outside and you lose power.
If you have a fireplace and some wood stored inside then you’re pretty much got your problems licked. All you have to do is make sure you can start the fire and keep it going. Not too difficult. Just make sure that you have a couple of fire extinguishers in case something happens, because having your house burn down during a blizzard would really suck. It happens.
Make sure you have layers of clothes that you can put on. Polypro moisture wicking thermal underwear like we use in the military is a great base layer because it pulls sweat from your body.
A fleece wool cap is really good for this kind of thing. Don’t forget some kind of warm gloves.
Have a couple of blankets too that you can wrap around your shoulders, especially to warm you back up if you have to go outside at any point to shovel snow off the roof or whatever.
Speaking of sweat, whatever you do, if it’s cold in your house; don’t sweat. I know some websites out there tell you to do vigorous exercise or whatever to keep warm but that’s a terrible idea. Moving around and even exercise is one thing but if you’re breaking a sweat doing it, you and your clothes will start evaporating that sweat and your heat will get wicked right off you.
Get some of your old towels and put them in the space under your doors to keep that draft out.
Water is a pretty important one to have. The last thing you need is to be stuck in a house for several days and either your pipes freeze or your water supply from the city or well stops for some reason. You HAVE to have water. You should plan on a gallon a day for each person to take care of drinking and cooking/bathing etc. A 5 gallon container for each person in your family plus one extra should be sufficient for most snow storms.
You should also have a way to filter water. You can use snow from the outside in a pinch if you have a way to melt it but you’ll be letting in cold air every time you go get some and some of your heat will go to melting the snow.
If you haven’t noticed, it gets dark pretty quickly during a blizzard. It’s not all that bright even during the day, and then add being winter and all the clouds and snow, and your nights are way longer than normal. You’ll need some kind of light to get around your house.
Solar lantern,Flashlights are always a good thing to have. They’re awesome too. If you have rechargeable batteries and a solar kit, you’ll never run out of power.
Just keep in mind that flashlights are cool for walking around but not so cool for when you’re just hanging out or doing something that you need both hands for. For that, get something like a lantern. Just leave it in the light during the day and use it at night.
A really good option is to get LED 12v string lights and just run them off a car battery and keep the car battery topped up with a small solar panel or with a generator.
Candles and lamps are great for situations like this. If you’re in a small room, especially with a few people, some candles will be enough to also keep you pretty warm. Probably the best option here is to just get a couple of 100 hour candles that you can keep in each room. They’ll burn for a few days each and really aren’t very expensive. If you’re stuck without anything and have some olive oil and something to wick it with and are a little handy with DIY projects, you can also make your own oil lamps.
What can you do to stay warm?
Create a Warm Room – Find the smallest room in your house, and wall it off with thick heavy blankets. It’s easier to heat, or keep heat in a small area than it is to heat a large house.
Backpackers Stove – A Small backpackers stove can be used to heat water. The hot water can then be put in water bottles and shoved into a sleeping bag to keep you warm.
Tent – In your small room, you can also set up a small tent to sleep in. It will capture your body heat, and help you to stay warm at night.
Eat Something – Eating can actually help keep you warm; it can be especially important right before bed. If you eat right before going to bed, the energy your body uses to digest your food can keep you warm at night.
Make a Fort – Remember making forts when you were a kid? Well, those fort making skills are going to come in handy. Making a blanket fort can help capture heat, and can help you get through until the power comes back on.
Just remember that if it doesn't go well and your power goes out, no heat and pipes freeze. A home and material things can be replaced.
Your life and family are the most important thing!
Be Safe, Stay off the Streets, and stay warm.