Brook from NHS sent us this information in 2007 and it still apllies.
Preparing for a Winter Ice/Snow Storm and possible Power Outage.
1.Make sure you have some basic survival items in your house before the threat of a storm:
A shovel. Even if you live in an apartment you should own a shovel as you may need to dig yourself out before your ground crew gets in, and they are unlikely to dig out your car.
Flashlights. Make sure you have good quality flashlights and lamps with fresh batteries.
Food. Make sure you have enough non-perishable food to last a few days. Even if your budget is tight you should make sure to keep extra food in the house. Canned and powdered foods are good for long-term storage.
A Can Opener. Make sure to have a good old-fashioned manual can opener.
Blankets and Warm Clothing. You may already have these items, but remember you will need enough blankets to keep you warm without any heat and in adverse conditions.
A Camping Stove or barbecue Grill. A gas-powered camping stove is a wise investment for any emergency situation. If you have an electric stove in the kitchen a camp stove is almost a necessity. Be sure you use it with proper ventilation, and have plenty of backup fuel.
Gas Stoves in your home can work, remember that if you have a gas stove with igniters, you may have to light the burner manually (with a match). Never use your gas oven to heat your home.
Matches to light your gas range/camping stove/candles. Do not rely on lighters that can run out of fuel or break down all too easily.
A Battery Operated Radio. This way you can get news without wall power. Make sure the batteries are good. It is also possible to buy a motion charging radio, as you can with a flashlight.
Prescription medications. Like food, it is always wise to have enough to last you a few days.
Anything else vital to your household. You should always have ample supplies of items like diapers, formula, batteries, and so on before the storm hits.
A wall phone with a cord, or a portable cellphone charger. Cordless home phones will not work when the power is out. Many states require at least one wall plugged phone, which receives power from the telephone connection, in all households.
3.Anticipate a long power outage. By preparing you can make a power outage bearable.
If you have an interior shut off valve on your exterior water spickets remember to turn the shut the valve and purge water by turning on outside spicket.(This should be routine winterization on your home)
4.Decide what to do with the Food in your freezer and refrigerator. If the power will not be out long leave the doors closed, keeping the air inside, and your food will most likely be fine. If it seems like it will be a while (three or more days) move the food. The nice thing about a winter storm is there is plenty of cold to store your food. Frozen items can be left outside (keep an eye on the temperature) and refrigerated items left in an enclosed porch or other cold area. Eat perishable foods first, keeping canned goods for more lengthy outages.
5.Keep tabs on your family members. Make sure you know where everyone in your family is and that they have proper shelter before the storm hits.
6. Be aware of approaching storms. Watch weather reports, listen to emergency radios, and actually watch the little black bands at the top of your TV screen warning you about storms. This will tell you when you need to be prepared for the storm.
7.Keep Warm to survive the storm. When the storm hits, already have a fire or furnace running to keep you warm if this is feasible. Keep blankets ready, and above all, stay warm. Drink hot liquids and eat hot foods.
8.Have Entertainment Bored people can become anxious, panicky, or plain irritable, and this can sometimes lead to poor decision-making during a winter storm. Have entertainment such as books, board games, cards, crafts, and so on in the house. It’s entirely possible to even enjoy a power outage!
Do not panic. There is usually actually help very close if you really, really need it. Most storms are major annoyances rather than full-blown natural disasters.
Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure everyone in your house knows how to use them. House fires are surprisingly common in storm situations as people turn to alternate heating sources without taking the necessary safety precautions.
Stay home. A lot of injuries and fatalities happen when people venture out by car in a bad snowstorm, and have an accident. Ask yourself, “Is this trip really necessary?”
If you have water pipes in the outside walls of your home you may wish to allow a small trickle of warm water to run which can help prevent frozen pipes.
If your pipes do freeze you may wish to call a plumber. Frozen pipes can burst and cause further damage to your property. A licensed plumber may be able to assist
Never use charcoal, or a propane heater in an enclosed area without proper ventilation. Carbon monoxide can build up. Silent and odorless, it is deadly. Cook on the back porch or near an open window.
Candles, if used improperly, can cause fire. More than 140 people die each year from candle related home fires according to the National Fire Protection agency – nearly one-third from using candles for lighting. Candles are not recommended as light sources during power failures. Flashlights are far safer.
Gasoline powered generators can kill people when used indoors or in open garages that allow the fumes to flow into the home. The Carbon Monoxide is odorless and your CO detectors will probably not work when you have no electricity.
Exercise extreme caution when using a generator and ensure all extension cords are properly sized and UL listed. Generators can and do electrocute people.
Barbeque grills and camp stoves kill people – from fires and Carbon Monoxide emissions. Use with extreme caution and never bring gas fires equipment into the house or garage.
Things You’ll Need
Snow shovels and other snow removal equipment.
Battery powered radio
Coleman Stove, Barbeque Grill
Enough fuel to run the stove
Lots of clothing
First aid kit
List of emergency numbers and
addresses (you may not be able
to phone but you may be able
to walk, hitch a lift etc. to
Foot and hand warmer packs
Extra hats, socks and mittens
First aid kit with pocket knife
Any necessary medications
Rock salt to melt ice on walkways
Sand to improve traction
Non-electric entertainment: Books, Cards, Board Games, etc.
Comments are always welcome.