Winter Emergency Kits: What They Are And Why You Should Have One At Home

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Our homes are our safe havens, but sometimes, we forget to equip them with the items we actually need to keep us safe. Winter is a beautiful time of year that can quickly turn ugly with winter storms, power outages, and too much ice and snow. Preparing your home for winter can be a daunting task — you have to clean your gutters, sweep out your chimney, tend to your lawn, complete home repairs, and test your smoke detectors. But beyond that, you also need to prepare a winter emergency kit.

A winter emergency kit is similar to a first aid kit in that it is a collection of items you will need should you find yourself in an emergency due to severe weather. The winter version is tailored to cold-weather disasters like power outages and snowfall that prevent you from leaving your home. Even if you have never experienced a winter emergency before, having the items on hand for an unforeseen crisis is super important, not to mention it's quite easy to do. Here's what you need to build the right winter emergency kit.

What to include in your winter emergency kit

The most important thing to consider when building your kit is to prepare for the worst. This means having enough supplies to last you a few days, or even up to a week. Winter storms are often accompanied by freezing temperatures that can last for hours or days. As previously mentioned, the end result often leads to power outages and the inability to drive on icy roadways or leave our homes. For your power concerns, make sure your kit includes a power bank so you can charge the devices you'll need for communication. You can find powerbanks on Amazon for about $26. You'll also need an LED flashlight. Amazon has them for $10. Another important thing to add to your kit is the required type of batteries for any battery-powered items you have on hand.

In addition to the power outage essentials, you should also have a waterproof bag to secure your technology and important documents or belongings in case there's a flood. Other important items include a fire extinguisher, warm clothes, especially extra hats and gloves, a standard first-aid kit, non-perishable food (make sure you have a manual can opener), and water.

Other items to consider for your winter emergency kit

The base of your emergency kit is for essentials, but we all know that many of us desire a few extra comforts when it comes to staying in our homes for a prolonged period. A power station can be super helpful, especially for a larger family or those who have a ton of devices. Power stations, which can be used for items you would normally plug into a wall outlet like appliances or TVs, are an investment — you can find them on Amazon for just under $500 — but they can be a game changer when it comes to wintertime. Gas generators are also an investment that can make life a lot easier should the power go out, although they can be dangerous if not used properly.

Other items that are not required, but can help you wait out a winter storm, include a heated blanket, specifically one that is heated through USB, like the Cordless Heated Shawl blanket from Amazon for $46, and an emergency radio. You may also want to stock up on snacks, board games, medications, sleeping bags, pet supplies, hygiene needs, and disinfectant.