Prepare a home emergency kit
This kit should include enough water, dried and canned food, and emergency supplies (flashlights, batteries, first-aid supplies, prescription medicines, and a digital thermometer) to last at least 3 days. Use battery-powered flashlights and lanterns, rather than candles, gas lanterns, or torches (to minimize the risk of fire). A cell phone charger that can you can plug into your car cigarette lighter can also be helpful. (source: CDC)
Many people have plans to purchase a generator before winter. Make sure you read all warnings before using, as there were several reports of carbon monoxide poisoning as a result of improper ventilation.
Prepare a car emergency kit
While traveling during inclement winter weather is not advisable, it is sometimes unavoidable. If you must travel, keep some essential items in your car. That list should include:
Flashlight with extra batteries
Flares or reflective triangles
Cell phone / with charger
General First Aid kit
Cash (in case you need to be towed, or spend the night at a motel)
Water and food (non perishable)
Blanket and extra set of clothes
Winter formula window washer solvent
Non-clumping kitty litter
Ice-scraper, snow brush and snow shovel
Tire chains (source AAA)
As we enter into winter, people need to keep an eye and an ear on weather conditions. As watches and warnings are forecast, take them seriously and begin preparations. If we face another 2-5 day power outage in the dead of winter, with overnight temperatures in the teens or single digits, it could lead to serious threat to life and property.
Be prepared for the worst, hope for the best, and be safe this winter!