Winter Survival Tips

Winter has arrived, and many families have experienced snowy weather recently. Here are some quick tips to keep you safe during extreme cold weather from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The complete guide can be found at

Winter survival kit for your home

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Keep several days’ supply of these items:

  • Food that needs no cooking or refrigeration, such as bread, crackers, cereal, canned foods, and dried fruits. Remember baby food and formula if you have young children.
  • Water stored in clean containers, or purchased bottled water (5 gallons per person) in case your water pipes freeze and rupture.
  • Medicines that any family member may need.

If your area is prone to long periods of cold temperatures, or if your home is isolated, stock additional amounts of food, water, and medicine.

Emergency supplies list

  • An alternate way to heat your home during a power failure: dry firewood for a fireplace or wood stove, or kerosene for a kerosene heater
  • Furnace fuel (coal, propane, or oil)
  • Electric space heater with automatic shut-off switch and non-glowing elements
  • Blankets
  • Matches
  • Multipurpose, dry-chemical fire extinguisher
  • Flashlight or battery-powered lantern
  • Battery-powered radio
  • Battery-powered clock or watch
  • Extra batteries
  • Non-electric can opener
  • Snow shovel
  • Rock salt
  • Special needs items (diapers, hearing aid batteries, medications, etc.)

Prepare your car for winter

You can avoid many dangerous winter travel problems by planning ahead. Have maintenance service on your vehicle as often as the manufacturer recommends. In addition, every fall:

  • Have the radiator system serviced, or check the antifreeze level yourself with an antifreeze tester. Add antifreeze, as needed.
  • Replace windshield-wiper fluid with a wintertime mixture.
  • Replace any worn tires, and check the air pressure in the tires.
  • Keep the gas tank near full to help avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines.

Winter survival kit for your car

  • Blankets
  • First aid kit
  • A can and waterproof matches (to melt snow for water)
  • Windshield scraper
  • Booster cables
  • Road maps
  • Mobile phone
  • Compass
  • Tool kit
  • Paper towels
  • Bag of sand or cat litter (for added traction)
  • Tow rope
  • Tire chains (for areas with heavy snow)
  • Collapsible shovel
  • Container of water and high-calorie canned or dried foods and a can opener
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Canned compressed air with sealant (for tire repair)
  • Brightly colored cloth