Snowmageddon 2015: Survival Tips From America’s Top Preparedness Experts

Snowmageddon 2015 has begun in New York, New Jersey, and along the East Coast. Approximately 50,000 residents are expected to be impacted by the blizzard of 2015. Power outages, if they occur, could last from days to one week, according to breaking news updates from news correspondents shivering along the roadways as they share images of the falling snow with viewers.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio told residents that “the time to prepared is now” about 24 hours before the first snowflake hit the ground in the metropolis he is tasked with leading. Grocery store shelves emptied within a few hours of the blizzard of 2015, clearly indicating that many were likely to go hungry if snowmageddon 2015 is as horrific as predicted, at also that the time to prepared had long since passed.

If a power grid down scenario develops in the blizzard of 2015 region, millions of Americans without generators, fireplaces, or wood stoves will be in danger of contracting frostbite, hypothermia, and will be unable to heat their food or bottles of formula for babies in the household. Mayor de Blasio and Governor Cuomo urged residents to “check on their neighbors” during the blizzard and to look out for one another, noting that help would be on the way.

If no one in the neighborhood has stocked up on food and water and has no emergency heat source or medical supplies, exactly how one well-meaning neighbor can help another remains unclear. First responders are true local heroes, but when a significant portion of a disaster area home to 50 million people need assistance, the help which is on the way might just not get there in time.

The Inquisitr sat down with some of the most respected and educated survival experts in the United States to garner some potentially life-saving snowmageddon 2015 blizzard preps.

Rick Austin, AKA the Survivalist Gardener, is a permaculture expert and author of the bestseller, Secret Garden of Survival and The Secret Greenhouse of Survival. Austin is nationally renowned for his agriculture skills and insights. Austin left the corporate world behind to live off the grid in North Carolina several years back. Rick is the creator of Prepper Camp, a critically acclaimed and hands-on self-reliance event held over the course of three days in the North Carolina mountains. Austin traveled across the country to speaking engagements designed not to sell products but to educate others about the crop growing habits of our ancestors.

survivalist gardener

“These days, it always amazes me at how unprepared the mass number of consumers are when a big storm is about to hit. The frantic shopping for whatever is left on the shelves, the mass hysteria, and the panic to get batteries, gasoline, etc. just shows how utterly unprepared the vast majority of people are, for even the most basic of needs.

As far as I am concerned, when a storm is imminent, the last thing I want to be doing is traveling away from home and going to the store for supplies. Maybe it’s because I grew up in the Northeast, where we always knew that we could lose power for a week at a time (and in sub- zero temperatures at that), and we also knew that no one was going to be coming to “save us”… so we needed to be able to “save” ourselves.

As a result of always having a prepared and self-reliant outlook, we already had plenty of canned and frozen food in storage, plenty of cut, split and stacked wood ready to heat the home, and we knew how to cook on our wood stove as well. We also had any of the medicines, etc. that a family member might need if we were to be shut indoors for a week.

The only things we needed to do in preparation for a snow storm’s arrival was to 1) make sure we had a snow shovel inside the front door (just in case the snow ended up being 3ft deep when we opened the door), and 2) back our cars into the garage (facing out- because it is a lot easier to get through a pile of snow if you need to get out in an emergency, by going forward, than in reverse).

Other than that, we already had ways to light the house, heat the house, cook food, and occasionally we would use our gas powered generator to run the pump for water, and run the refrigerator and freezer for a few minutes at a time, just to keep the food in them cold. If we went without power for really long periods, we would eat the things that could spoil first, and we could also resort to freezing and “refrigerating” our food outside in the snow.

Water is your most valuable resource in the short term, particularly if your pump cannot run because you did not have power, or the gasoline to run the generator. But lack of water is less of a problem in a snow storm because you have a whole world of water just outside your door. Snow can be easily melted in a pot on the wood stove, or several days after the storm, you could melt that snow down to water in front of a sunny window (if the storm had cleared but you still did not have power. One word of caution- don’t eat the snow without first thawing it, because eating snow will only dehydrate you more and burn extra calories, since it will require your body to expend more energy to heat your core after eating snow.

The only thing we would use batteries for was for something really important, like having an operational radio, so we could get information from the outside world, and to see how long we might be stuck where we are, and when the roads had been made safe to travel. These days you can buy a 12volt emergency battery (like a car battery) that is set up to be able to power and recharge devices like cell phones- which could be your lifeline, if someone needed medical assistance.

Other than being generally prepared as I mentioned above, here are a few tried and true tips and tricks that can help you survive, in the aftermath of a snow storm. Dress in Layers whether you are inside or out because you can always remove some layers if you are too warm. Try not to over-exert yourself, particularly to the point of sweating outdoors. Since the quickest way to get hypothermia is if you are wet, try to stay dry, and that includes not working up a sweat.

Drink plenty of fluids, you can lose a lot of bodily fluid in the cold do to simple respiration, so make sure you stay hydrated. The less you open your refrigerator door, the longer your food will stay cold. So minimize the number of times you open that door, and try to plan on getting a number of items out at once if you are preparing a meal, so that you can minimize the heat loss to the refrigerator. If your feet are cold, put on a hat. Your head makes up 10% of the surface area of your body, but you lose 25 percent of your heat from your head. So keeping your head warm, goes a long way to keeping the rest of your body warm too.

The biggest cause of house fires after a big storm is because people use fire to heat their homes, cook their food, and light up the darkness. Since most people don’t use their fireplaces, wood stoves, candles and oil lamps on a regular basis, they are often careless or do stupid things that puts themselves and their families in more danger than they were without the fire.

When it is dark, go to bed. Do what the farmers used to do before they had electricity. When the sun goes down, so should you. You will stay warmer in bed, use less candles, which can keep you from having a house fire, you will use less wood in the wood stove, and you and your family will generally be better rested for what will often be harder days ahead of shoveling snow, cooking outdoors on your gas grill, and gathering wood for your fireplace.

Or you could just do what I do, and live a sustainable homesteading lifestyle in an energy efficient home now. Then you would already know how to heat and cook with wood, have plenty of food and water stored, and wouldn’t need to fight for that last box of Strawberry Pop Tarts at the grocery store.

Dr. Joe Alton, aka Dr. Bones, is an M.D. and fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the American College of OB/GYN. Dr. Alton is also a member of Mensa and collects 19th-century medical books to gain insight on off-grid medical strategies. Joe and Amy also recently created the Doom and Bloom Survival board game.

His wife, Amy Alton, A.R.N.P., aka Nurse Amy, is an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner. Together, they’re the authors of the number one Amazon bestseller in Survival Skills and Safety/First Aid, The Survival Medicine Handbook, highly-regarded keynote speakers, The Doom and Bloom Survival Medicine Hour podcast hosts, and YouTube channel presenters, as well as contributors to leading survival and homesteading magazines.

Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy.

Medical preparedness tips from Doctor Bones (Joe Alton) and his Nurse Amy (Alton)

A major blizzard is set to hit the Northeast, and many will be at risk due to exposure. Many deaths due to cold-related issues (hypothermia) are avoidable, however, if simple precautions are taken.

In Your Home:
Many believe they’re safe in their homes, but the Red Cross recommends a plan of action to weather the storm:

  • Running water in your home at a slow drip helps prevent pipes from freezing.
  • Avoid using generators, grills, or camp stoves inside your home or garage to prevent the accumulation of deadly exhaust. Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines there.
  • Open cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing (remove hazardous items from the reach of children).
  • If you must go out, limit the time and protect yourself from frostbite and hypothermia by dressing in layers.
  • Use Rock Salt or similar products to avoid falls on slippery driveways and sidewalks; have a snow shovel handy.
  • Avoid yard work or other strenuous activities outside the house; sweaty clothing can lead to hypothermia.
  • Covering windows with plastic on the inside will help insulate the home.
  • The use of space heaters and other devices increases the risk of fires in the home; keep and know how to use fire extinguishers.
  • Make sure rain gutters are clear, nearby tree branches are pruned, and that your home’s eaves can handle the weight of snow on the roof.
  • Have an NOAA Weather Radio to stay abreast of news even if the power fails.

Emergency Supply Kit

Items every household needs to stay healthy during a blizzard:

  • Water—at least a three-day supply; one gallon per person per day
  • Food—at least a week’s supply of non-perishable, easy-to-prepare food
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank flashlights and a NOAA weather radio
  • Extra batteries
  • First aid kit and 7-day supply of medicines
  • Tools
  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items
  • Copies of personal documents (everything from emergency contact info to medical information to insurance policies)
  • Cell phone with charger
  • Extra cash
  • Pet supplies
  • Ample supply of warm clothes and blankets
  • Alternative heating methods such as fireplaces or wood-burning stove

WINTER CAR TRAVEL
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Before you venture out on the roads into the storm:

  • Keep an eye on weather forecasts before you head out; conditions can change rapidly if a cold snap is on the way.
  • The first question you should ask before you get in the car in cold weather is: “Is this trip necessary?” If the answer is “no”, you should stay in place, cozy and warm. For most people that work, the answer is “yes”. If you have to hit the road during a winter storm, drive as if your life depends on it (because it does).
  • Brush ice and snow off of windshields, side mirrors, or anywhere that your view might be blocked.
  • Don’t speed, tailgate, or weave in and out of traffic.
  • Make turns slowly and deliberately, and avoid quick stops and starts.
  • Notify someone of your travel plans before you head out.
  • Take your cell phone with you but leave it in your pocket or purse. Your focus has to be on the road, not on the latest texts from your friends.

STRANDED!

If you live in an area that routinely has very cold winters, you may not be able to avoid being stranded in your car one day. Your level of preparedness will improve your chances of staying healthy and getting back home. So what should your plan of action be?

1. Stay calm and don’t leave the car. It’s warmer there than outside and you have protection from the wind. Having adequate shelter is one of the keys to success, whether it’s in the wilderness or on a snow-covered highway.

2. Crack a window on the side away from the wind for some fresh air. People talk about water and food being necessary for survival but, first, you’ll need a source of fresh air. Wet snow can block up your exhaust system, which causes carbon monoxide to enter the passenger compartment. Colorless and odorless, this is a deadly gas that kills in enclosed spaces without ventilation. Clearing the exhaust pipe of snow and running the engine only ten minutes or so an hour will help prevent monoxide poisoning.

3. If you’re in a group, huddle together as best you can to create a warm pocket in the car.

4. Rub your hands, put them in your armpits, or otherwise keep moving to make your muscles produce heat.

5. Don’t overexert yourself. If your car is stuck in the snow, you’ll want to dig yourself out, but sweating will cause clothing to become wet. Wet clothing loses its value as insulation and leads to hypothermia.

6. Let others know you’re there. If you have flares, use them. Flashing emergency lights on your vehicle will drain battery power, so use them only if you think someone might see them.

ITEMS TO KEEP IN YOUR CAR

If you’re going to travel in very cold conditions, there are a certain number of items that you should keep in your vehicle. This is what an effective winter survival car kit contains:

• Wool Blankets (for warmth; wool can stay warm even if wet)
• Spare sets of dry clothes, including socks, hats, and mittens.
• Hard warmers or other instant heat packs (activated, usually, by shaking, they’ll last for hours)
• Matches, lighters and/or firestarters in case you need to manufacture heat
• Candles, flashlights (keep batteries in backward until you need them to extend life).
• Small multi-tool with blade, screwdrivers, pliers, etc.
• Larger combination tool like a foldable Chinese Army shovel (acts as a shovel but also an axe, saw, etc.)
• Sand or rock salt in a plastic container (to give traction where needed)
• Tow chain or rope
• Flares
• Starter cables (for jump starts)
• Water, Food (energy bars, MREs, dehydrated soups, candies)
• Baby wipes (for hygiene purposes)
• A first aid kit (every car should have one)
• Medications (routine meds you take daily, ibuprofen, acetaminophen
• Tarp and duct tape (brightly colored ones will be more visible and aid rescue)
• Metal cup, thermos, heat source (to melt snow, make soup, etc.)
• Noisemaker (whistle)
• Cell phone and charger

The items above will give you a head start in keeping safe and sound even if stranded. With a plan of action, a few supplies, and a little luck, you’ll survive even in the worst blizzard.

Melissa K. Norris is a renowned pioneering traditions expert. She practices her “olden days” habits in the Cascade Mountains, where she lives with her husband and two children. Melissa Norris’ writing career has enabled her to blend her desire to provide a healthy lifestyle for her family with her immense faith in God. All of her books and weekly newspaper column are inspired life on her family’s small beef cattle farm, her love of old-fashioned homesteading techniques,

homesteading

“Being prepared is a lifestyle and something anyone can do, no matter where they live. It’s being prepared for extreme weather, financial hardships, and the unexpected. One of the things our pioneer forefathers knew was the importance of having a well stocked pantry and not depending upon a daily or weekly trip to the grocery store. Here are 8 foods you should be storing and how. It’s not only important to have a food storage on hand for emergencies, but from a frugality standpoint, as well as health. Cooking things from scratch is cheaper and healthier. We also believe in having a way to replenish your food stores without grocery stores. We’re hosting a free webinar on this very subject Tuesday January 27th called The Emergency Food Storage Journey.”

Vincent L. DeNiro has been into preparedness since the late 1970s and worked in the firearms and defense industries since 1982. He is the Editor-In-Chief of Prepper & Shooter Magazine.

Prepper and Shooter Magazine Editor-in-Chief Vince DeNiro.

“Many people talk about getting 72 hours worth of supplies at the onset of a disaster – the following will be some advice regarding the pending blizzard on the east coast and for those who have never thought about having any supplies for emergencies. Typically, these snowstorm events only last a few days, after which emergency crews can start assisting those in distress, but the power outages that sometimes come with them have been known to last two weeks or more.

First off, if you don’t have at least three days in your pantry at all times, you are either destitute or living like a collage student. Don’t live like either. Even someone that is totally dependent on food stamps can put away inexpensive, high calorie, high protein food items like peanut butter. First, do not try to go to work. Some companies are really hardnosed and will not give their employees a day off for an emergency even if a nuclear missile was launched. You need to look after yourself and your family first. If your children’s school also have not called classes off and you know that a snow storm will hit in the middle of the day, keep them home with you.

For a snow storm you need; heat, water, food, and communication, at a minimum, and in that order.

Heat – if you have a gas furnace, have some inexpensive electric heaters, at least one per floor of your home along with blankets – you should also have many sets of clothes and winter coats standing by. If you have a wood burner, be sure to know its burn rates and have wood stocked accordingly. If you don’t have a wood burner, get a good propane heater but be very aware of carbon monoxide levels it puts out and read the instructions carefully. If your heat is out in your home along with the electric, you can always survive in your car but be sure you do so outside of the garage and be sure that the snow does not pile up over your muffler and cause fumes to enter the car if you fall asleep. If you have to flee your home by foot, know where you are going, let someone know where you are and know that “cotton kills.” Cotton clothing is a very good natural material to keep you warm in a house or limited exposure without exertion outside but it is deadly as does not breathe it traps in sweat which will freeze and give you hypothermia. Don’t travel more than a few miles on foot and don’t leave home if there is a white out – you may be much better off staying in your home even without heat.Try to wear multiple layers of synthetic clothing that does breathe if you do not have winter gear.

Water – fill up all containers that hold water as in freezing weather, water mains can break leaving you with nothing to drink. You can melt snow as long as you have a good gravity fed water filter and a way to melt it.

Food – as mentioned before, you should have at least three days worth and most homes have a weeks worth of food. Start with food in the refrigerator, then the freezer, then go to canned and other perishables. The reason for this order is that you never know when the electric can go out. Buy extra if you can make it to the store safely before the storm hits.

Communication electronics – be sure to charge your cell phone batteries immediately when hearing of a snowstorm but do not rely just on your cell phone. Have a battery operated AM/FM radio with extra batteries standing by. Better yet, get a radio that has a built-in hand crank generator. Many models like the ones from the company Kaito, have multiple means of power including a small solar panel, hand crank, battery, DC and AC plug in feature. In addition to AM and FM bands, many of their radios have international shortwave and weather radio band. A programmable scanner is also a great thing to have as you can monitor police, fire departments, disaster services, and other important government agencies and get the news as its happening. Portable CB radios are also inexpensive and they are monitored by police on emergency channel 9 just in case that cell phone and land line go out and truckers are always on channel 19 and ready to help. Some community emergency REACT volunteers also use CB channel 7. Have flashlights with fresh and extra batteries as they can also be used to “call in” someone to help you from miles away. Another very important need;

Protection– police departments will be overwhelmed with saving the elderly, dealing with car accidents, and being short staffed due to call offs (I know, I used to be a deputy sheriff during Ohio winters). Your 911 call may never go through due to downed power and telephone lines or due to cell phone systems being overwhelmed and depending on where you live, the police may not even be able to get to you as most police vehicles are two wheel drive. Have a firearm and know how to use it.

If you must flee by car, be sure to take your emergency items with you along with extra gas. There are other things you should have like a first aid kit and extra medications if you are dependent on them. Now go get what you need!

Richard Duarte is the author of Surviving Doomsday – a Guide for Surviving an Urban Disaster; and Surviving an Urban DisasterA Quick Start Guide. He’s a practicing attorney, and a survival and firearms enthusiast; he currently teaches and consults in the areas of urban survival planning and preparation.”

Florida prepper expos

“Blizzard 2015 will probably go down in the history books as one of the most powerful storms to ever hit the Northeast, essentially shutting down the entire region for days, maybe even longer. Events such as this have happened in the past, I’m reminded of Super Storm Sandy in 2012. In the aftermath of one of these mega disasters, access to food, water, and vital public services is usually severely compromised. Yet judging from the last minute panic buying, and the long lines at grocery stores, gas stations, and home supply stores, few people seem to be prepared for Blizzard 2015.

As an urban preparedness consultant and author, I’m always amazed to find that otherwise intelligent, rational people refuse to make even the most basic preparations for a disaster or public crisis. On the bright side, however, these events represent an opportunity to raise public awareness and hopefully inspire some folks to be better prepared for the next one.

So here goes – In any survival situation, what will keep people alive and safe are the survival basics:
• Water – Two gallons per person, per day, for no less than two weeks; more if possible. Various methods of disinfecting suspect water, (i.e., filter, chemicals, heat, etc.).
• Food – Thirty-day supply of shelf-stable, calorie dense foods that require no cooking or preparation.
• Security – A plan, and tools, to provide for the security and defense of your home.
• First aid and medical – A well-stocked first aid kit and at least a 30-day supply of any prescription medication you or members of your family take.
• Sanitation and hygiene – A plan and supplies to dispose of human waste and trash during a public emergency when utilities may be unavailable.
• Knowing when to stay put and when to get out – There are times when leaving ahead of the storm is the only logical thing to do, other times staying put is best. Know the difference and have a plan and supplies ready for each.

These are simple steps anyone can take. Have a plan, supplies, and the know-how – survival knowledge and skills are crucial. Preparedness is a lifestyle, make it part of your routine and everyday life. Do the very best you can within your means, but get started and don’t wait for the next disaster to start your preparations. Remember its not if, its when.”

Survivor Jane is a former city girl-turned-prepper. She is the creator and editor of the disaster survival and preparedness website. It has become her mission to help educate others on how to better prepare themselves by sharing her experiences and research in easy to understand “girl-talk” on topics of disaster survival and preparedness. As an additional outreach, Survivor Jane created the hashtag #PrepperTalk on Twitter which has turned into the largest prepper community on Twitter; bringing preparedness-minded people from all over the world together to share their ideas, suggestions and information on preparedness. She is also the author of the newly released book Emergency Survival Hygiene, a first of its kind book on emergency and survival hygiene – which in her opinion is one of the most overlooked preparedness needs.

Survivor Jane

“You can bathe with how much water? An average person will use between 10 to 25 gallons for a 5-minute shower. But who takes 5 minutes showers? Once that hot water gets to going we are in there for the duration, right?

Not a shower person? How about this, you use … (drum roll please) approximately 70 gallons of water to fill your bathtub. Let’s face it; water has become second nature to us. And by this I mean, we twist, turn, push or pull a knob and water appears. It’s that simple. But, this is in a perfect world. What would happen if when you twisted, turned, pushed or pulled the knob nothing came out? What if the water flow was cut-off due to a natural or man-made disaster or broken pipe?

Have you given any thought to how you would bathe then? A prudent preparedness-minded person would have 5 gallons of water at the ready for each family member … per day. That means one gallon for drinking and the other four for bathing, personal hygiene, cooking and washing dishes. Five gallons of water. Remember you use up to 25 gallons for just a 5-minute shower. But then even the most prepared are not that prudent. So I am going to share with you some water bathing tips.

First of all, did you know that you can bathe with as little as a half a gallon of water? Your whole body. Just as you would do with washing dishes by hand, you wash your body from least dirty to most dirty. Begin by putting water in a bowl. It doesn’t have to be hot water either; room temperature is fine for washing. Start with your face and neck. Wet a washcloth in the bowl of water.

Then apply soap to the cloth and wash yourself. Then rinse the washcloth in the bowl of water and rinse your face and neck. Move down to your shoulders and upper torso, then your mid-section – well you get the idea – keep moving down. Save the feet for last as they are usually the dirtiest part of your body. Now, this is not a hard fast rule. My father never went without shoes and his feet were as soft and clean as a baby’s behind. But he was a working man and boy did his arms and hands ever get filthy. So, if you are like my father, you might work backward, or in the middle. The point is least to most dirty.

I’m sure this might disgust some of you – washing in such a small amount of water the water does become pretty dirty looking fast. So, uh what’s the difference between you sitting in the water in your bathtub and rinsing with water out of a bowl? Think about it, the point of bathing is to remove dead skin cells and dirt from your body, not to pour 10 to 25 gallons of water over your body or sit in a tub and hope the water miraculously removes the dirt off your body. You need to remove the dirt with a cloth, loofah, or sponge. In fact, if the truth be known, you don’t even need the soap part to bathe – all you need is the means to remove the dirt. Yes, you heard me right. You can bathe without soap. Period.

Yep. It is not the water, but the cloth and water that get you clean. And I did an experiment to prove it. Consider it me taking the hit for you. I took a shower for a whole week without using soap. My skin felt so soft and clean! Why? Because I was removing the surface dirt and dead skin cells, not the oils and moisture. Soaps can be drying; striping your skin of its natural oils and moisture. After my experimental showers, I would apply a small amount of olive oil or coconut oil on my body – that even added to the softness and retained the moisture.

Disasters don’t have to mean not being clean just because you can’t take a traditional shower or bath. Actually there aren’t many excused not to be clean in a disaster. Hygiene in a disaster situation will be of utmost importance. Cleanliness is part of avoiding infections from germs, viruses, bacteria, etc.

Did you know that infectious disease is the number one cause of death worldwide? Most infections in a disaster are caused by unsanitary living conditions. By each using a small amount of water to bathe gives a little extra for hand washing during the day thus avoiding as many germs as possible.

Try these experiments yourself – just as you practice your other preps – I’m referring to the ½ gallon bathing, then move on to the non-soap shower, and then combine the ½ gallon bathing with no soap. You might just be surprised at how little you can get away with. Just sayin’.”

Jen of Thrive North Carolina

Jen and Ken of Thrive

My husband Ken and I have been personally working in Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief for more than 20 years––since Hurricane Andrew hit South Florida. We felt in our hearts that we should help the victims, we marshaled our own skills, talents and other volunteered support, and that was the true start of our disaster relief mission.

Emergency Preparedness has always been a way of life for us, we hadn’t a name for it until recently, but we discovered our inner prepper and have continued to be preppers since that event. We recognize that people need to have a little more of everything stored to get their family through such occurrences, and that weather or other personal disasters can happen at any time.

We have formed an amazing network––a prep family––that has brought us to where we are today. It has been wonderful journey that has blessed us for more than 20 years. On Pioneer Preparedness we learn and share basic preparedness and yesterdays skills as today’s modern pioneers. This is a work in progress, so pardon our dust as we learn the ins and outs of blogging.

Isn’t rushing to the store kind of like picking up your cell phone to buy car insurance when you see a car about to hit you? I know this might not make much sense but neither does not having a few extra days worth of food and supplies on hand for your family.

All over the South, when the word ‘SNOW’ is whispered, grocery shelves are wiped clean, why? Don’t people keep their emergency French toast ingredients (bread, eggs, and milk) on hand anymore?

You have no idea what a relief it is to drive by the chaotic parking lots on the way home from work and not have to worry about stopping to pick up emergency items or walking in to grab some last minute supplies, when the shelves are already bare!It never hurts to have a little extra on hand. Emergencies occur, both personal and local, and it’s good to have some basic preparedness items and extra food and water on hand.

I remember growing up in Florida when the hurricanes were predicted to hit. You know how that all ends! Food, supplies, batteries and generators are wiped clean in a matter of hours. Now bring in the Blizzard of 2015, predictions forecasting up to three to four inches per hour (or more) between New York and Maine. What are you going to do?

Having a few days of supplies on hand will not instantaneously turn you into a tinfoil wearing, cardholding member of the ever-growing prepper nation but I promise you, you will feel so much better having these items on hand. Meeting basic needs for your family and keeping them comfortable isn’t crazy: It’s your own personal insurance policy that allows you to take care of them and get them by if anything should ever happen.

I know many a lot of you have seen lists detailing a plethora of what to buy in case of these emergencies. I am sure that you know the drill! However, I have a few other things to remind you of:

Be very careful with the heat and cooking resources you use. Never bring a charcoal grill into your home for any purpose. I know you are probably thinking ‘Well, Duh’ but there are several people that die each year, not thinking,remember or knowing this’. If you are blessed with a gas oven or stove then you are all set: cook away. One of my favorite indoor cooking sources for power outages is the butane stove. It’s safe to use and doesn’t require additional ventilation. The refill bottles are easily obtained at most Asian grocers or your local box stores.

I am sometimes known as the ‘crazy chick that talks about car bags, emergency kits and get home bags’ and yes, I proudly wear that hat, but there is a REASON that I recommend that others do these things! I wonder how many people were prepared for a 24+ hour traffic jam last year in Atlanta? From the news reports I have to believe not many. Need help putting something together? The Basic Preparedness Manual is a great source for self-reliance education. In everyday learning, I tell people not to get overwhelmed, take b.a.b.y.s.t.e.p.s. Yes this is for the future though, not when an event is knocking on your door.

I know it’s frustrating when all this hoopla is made over storms and nothing happens. Congratulations, you are set for the next storm, flu or any other event that you may want to be ready for.”

Are you prepared to survive a snowpocalypse or any short-term disaster?

[Feature image via: CBS News]