As New Englanders, we know to expect our fair share of snow, ice, and everything that comes along with a Nor'easter every Winter. While snow beautifully transforms the landscape into a winter wonderland, it can also cause power outages, car accidents, and flocks of people running to the store to stock up on milk and bread.
Whether you find yourself stuck at home or in your car during inclement weather, it's always important to make sure you're prepared for anything Mother Nature has in store!
Despite popular belief, stocking up on milk and eggs before a major storm isn't the best route to go. Should the power go off, it's best to keep the fridge closed as much as possible to keep the food cold longer and extend the chance that it will stay good when the power comes back on. Bread is a good option to buy, especially fiber-rich whole wheat bread, as it doesn't require refrigeration or preparation, and when combined with peanut butter it becomes a wholesome source of easy nutrition and energy from the combination of carbs and protein.
It is also a great idea to fill the pantry with nonperishable can goods (beans, soups, veggies, fruits, pasta meals, etc.) for easy food in a pinch. Make sure the dates are good and they will last at times for several years. Also be sure to have a manual can opener so that you will be able to open the cans without an electric one.
For your car, it's smart to have a stockpile of snacks, such as crackers or jerky, on hand for emergency situations. Should you get stuck in a storm in your vehicle, there may be hours of time before someone is able to help. Having nutritious snacks that won't freeze or perish will give you the energy needed to stay alert until help arrives.
Water, water, water - water is key for emergency situations. Make sure to stock up on gallons of spring water in case the pipes freeze or the running water stops working during the storm. Have enough water on hand that everyone in the house hold will be able to have enough water to drink to stay hydrated, along with a couple gallons for cleaning - having more than not enough is crucial, as there is no way to tell how long the aftermath of a storm will last even after the final snowflake falls to the ground.
If you must travel during a storm, always make sure to bring at least one or two bottles of water with you in case of emergency. Though there will be plenty of snow on the ground, it's best to stay in the vehicle and not open the door to the elements to try and drink snow water if avoiding so is possible.
Make sure you keep plenty of blankets and extra warm clothes in your home emergency kit and in your vehicle. Should you loose heat, get in an accident, or have any type of emergency, keeping warm is crucial. Have a few warm blankets in the back seat of your car (you won't want to go out in the cold to get them from the trunk) so that you and any passengers can keep warm. Also keep an extra jacket (even if it's old and doesn't fit that well, it's better than nothing!), sweater, pants, socks, and shoes if possible. This is also true for your home emergency kit, keep as many warm blankets and clothes on hand as possible for you and whomever is in your home during a storm.
Other items to stock up on for your home and vehicle would be: extra flashlights (with working batteries already inside), extra batteries (various sizes), working lighter and/or books of matches (strike anywhere are best in case the box gets damaged somehow), radio (to hear latest storm reports), and first aid items.