Winter can be a beautiful winter wonderland when you travel from your heated job to your heated car and back to your heated home. You’re safe and warm inside as you watch the snow come down in heaps and the wind crash against your safe little home.
BUT, what happens when the power goes out, the snow continues to pile up, and you’re stranded with no heat and electricity in your apartment? Are you prepared to survive in your home with the supplies you have on hand? Do you have an alternative form of heat to keep you warm?
If the answer is yes. Well done, prepper! Check our list below to see if you have everything you need to survive days or even weeks in a blizzard.
If the answer is no, don’t panic! We are here to help. The best way to handle being stranded in a snowstorm is to be prepared in the first place. Find out what you need to make sure you can survive during a harsh winter storm.
Though cliche, being prepared is the best way to handle any kind of tragic event. Making sure you have all equipment, tools, and food & water you need is the surest way you’ll be prepared to tackle any kind of situation.
When the snow is coming down in thick sheets, temperatures are below freezing, and help is far away, your best option is to bunk up, stay warm, and wait for help. By ensuring you have the right supplies on hand you will be able to survive days even weeks from home. Here are a list of supplies you’ll want to have when temperatures drop:
- Working flashlight with extra batteries on hand.
- An extra (charged) cell phone. You can invest in a pre-paid one to have on hand.
- A working radio or television (preferably battery powered).
- Food & water storage. Better start stocking up on extra canned goods and water bottles.
- Other emergency food (MREs).
- First Aid supplies including medicine.
- Heating fuel.
- Other heat sources (back up generators, fire extinguishers, space heater, backpacker stove).
- Carbon monoxide and smoke detectors.
- Plastic wrap and tape for the windows.
- Water filter.
- 100-hour candles and lighters.
- Warm clothes.
If you have most of these supplies, well done! If you don’t, you better start stocking up. Even if you’re not preparing for a snowstorm, keeping any of these supplies on hand will prepare you for any natural disaster.
Keep Yourself Warm
Without electricity many useful functions in your home go right out the window. You’ll want to have plenty of warm clothes on hand when your house temperature begins to drop. However, don’t just pile on everything you own. To keep warm just remember the acronym: COLD.
C: Clean. Make sure you keep all of your layers clean. Dirt, sweat, and grime can reduce air spaces which can reduce your clothing’s warmth.
O: Overheating. Sweating can dampen your clothes and skin, which in turn makes you more cold. Avoid overheating by adjusting your clothes.
L: Wear loose layers. Blood flow promotes staying warm. Wearing tight-fit layers actually restricts circulation making you more cold.
D: Keep your clothes dry. Wet clothing is your greatest foe in the cold. Don’t wear absorbent cotton fabrics, and keep the area around your neck loose so moisture can escape.
Also, don’t forget to move. Clothing only traps your body heat. If you get cold the best strategy would be to move around to get your blood pumping. When you take breaks make sure they’re short to avoid completely cooling off.
Prepare Your Shelter
Lucky for you, you’ve got a roof over your head to shelter you from the cold. The big challenge is keeping yourself warm in your heatless home.
To survive in a snowstorm without freezing to death, you will need to stay indoors as much as possible. During a blizzard, visibility can be very limited especially during the day. Snow drifts have the potential to cover up landmarks which could prevent you from safely returning to your shelter. Go out when you know you can safely find your way back.
Keeping Warm in Your Home
Create a warm room within your home. Without power your whole home is bound to get cold very quickly. Instead of trying to heat your entire house try keeping just one main room warm. Close off unnecessary rooms to keep heat from escaping, stuff towels or blankets underneath doors to trap warmth, keep sunlight streaming through windows during the day & cover the windows at night, and eat & drink to stay warm and hydrated.
Create Fire/ Heat
Alternative Heat Sources
If the power does go out, you need to find a way to keep warm. If you do opt for alternative heat source, make sure to use it with caution. Kerosine heaters and fireplaces can be dangerous if there is not proper ventilation or if there are kids around.
Outside Fire & Non-River Stones
If you can’t have heat inside your home for whatever reason, one thing you can do is build a fire outside, and heat up non-river stones. While river stones can explode when heated (because of pockets of water within them), non-river stones can handle the heat and will heat up whatever area you are trying to keep warm. Put the rocks on something that can handle the heat and put them near a bed or sitting area for an extra source of heat.
Other Ways To Keep Warm:
- Make a fort or put up a tent in your house. This is another great way to keep warm at night.
- Eat before bedtime. The energy your body uses to digest food will help to keep you warm at night.
- Wear multiple layers of loose fitting, lightweight, dry clothing.
Food & Water
Making sure you’re well fed and hydrated is an important step in combating the cold. An unhealthy body is more susceptible to the cold than a healthy one.
Building up food storage in a time of crisis will ensure you remain fed and healthy during a time of crisis. If you don’t have some type of food storage yet, you better start now. Choose foods that will be useful to have on hand and will keep for a long time such as rice, canned beans, or canned fruits & vegetables.
If you do have a limited supply of food and water make sure you ration it accordingly to last for several days.
If you are completely out of water, do NOT eat the snow raw. This is extremely harmful to the body. Make sure to melt the snow first and then drink it. Store melted snow in containers so you have some extra water on hand. To ration water, make sure you have about a gallon a day. This will be enough for a person to drink, cook, and bathe with. A 5 gallon container should be sufficient for each person (plus and extra one), and will help get you through most snow storms or natural disasters.
Don’t get caught unprepared in a blizzard! Start gathering supplies now to prepare you for any natural disaster. For other prepper tips check out our blog and shop our store for the best survivalist equipment.