Get The Stuff On This Checklist Before The Winter Storm Slams Your House

Before the storm hits, get equipped. If you’re one of 100,000,000 Americans who is about to get smashed with this frozen blast, here’s a list of supplies you should have on hand before you get snowed in.

Publishing sibling Consumer Reports Home and Garden blog recommends you have:

  • 1 gallon of water/person/day
  • No-cooking required food
  • Zero-electricity can opener
  • First-aid kit
  • Battery-powered radio
  • Flashlights
  • Batteries
  • Fuel for stoves
  • Extension cords
  • Wrenches and pliers for turning off utilities and shutting water pipes
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Battery-powered smoke and CO alarms
  • Fuel for snow blower
  • Snow shovels
  • Rock salt, calcium chloride, and sand for melting snow
  • Hat, scarf, mittens
  • Can of Yeti-Off
  • Flares
  • Car jack
  • Lug wrench
  • Jumper cables

‘Megastorm’ storm to affect 100 million Americans [Consumer Reports Home & Garden Blog]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Cosmo_Kramer says:

    Must be a pretty isolated storm if it’s only going to affect 100,000 people.

  2. tbiscuit360 says:

    I think you should rename this article to “Things You Will Not Be Able To Find At Any Store in the Midwest”

    • Rebecca K-S says:

      Heh, yeah. My friend got stalked around a store today while she picked up and bought a snowblower.

    • Joedel263 says:

      A store out here got in 2000 roof rakes and had such a huge line they had to order 1000 more.. In a normal year they sell 5…

    • LadySiren is murdering her kids with HFCS and processed cheese says:

      Wait, I don’t see bread and milk on that list, which are the first things to go down here. Snow shovels? Naaaah. Just as long as we got our bread, milk, Coke, and toilet paper, we’re good to go y’all.

  3. Rebecca K-S says:


  4. stock2mal says:

    All you need is a snow shovel. Shovel out, shovel your neighbors out. They open the door to thank you, kill them with the snow shovel, eat them. Repeat if necessary.

  5. Coles_Law says:

    Rock salt, calcium chloride, snow

    Well, the hardware store was all out of rock salt and CaCl, but I was able to buy the last of their snow. Phew!

  6. apbailey says:

    “Fuel for stoves”… be careful when cooking indoors.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      I have a little tiny Sterno stove. I used it inside during the ice storm in 2007. It sat on the electric burners on my stove and I was very careful. A propane stove may not be a good idea indoors, but the Sterno worked great.

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        yes, i’ve had to use a sterno stove indoors before too. when the landlord sent a plumber to fix the stove [many years ago, former residence] and he didn’t unplug it before trying to work on the wiring, i sent him away so i wouldn’t have a dead plumber and just cooked with sterno until i could get my hands on an old but working stove for free.
        of course, i also had windows that wouldn’t close all the way so i wasn’t worried about ventilation, but sterno is used indoors all the time for catering events

        • HogwartsProfessor says:

          Yes, that’s what I have. I also have a little camp / cowboy coffeepot that I used to boil water and make coffee. And an oil lamp like Little House on the Prairie, so while I was trapped inside at least I could read. You just have to be careful, like with candles.

  7. TasteyCat says:

    I don’t have at least half of that. I did go shopping so I have something to eat for the next two days (electricity permitting), though. Luckily, I live about a mile from the main road/highway, so if I got really desperate I could make the trek to some business that’s bound to be open.

    • tbiscuit360 says:

      Unless the governor declares a state of emergency in which the hardiest of businessmen will not be permitted to open up their stores.

  8. kewpie says:

    If you don’t already have that stuff, it’s too late to get it now.

    • Verucalise (Est.February2008) says:

      OOORRR….. get a generator. Take care of at least 80% of that list; my generator runs my house. Lose electric? I pull it out of the basement, get it going. I then plug it into the special box I have attached to my breaker box, flip the switches and HOT DAMN ELECTRIC! I have a FRIDGE! RUNNING WATER! TV! HEAT! The most I do is make sure I have enough gasoline to run it for 10-12 hours. We make sure our cars have at least 1/2-3/4 a tank of gasoline for a bunch of reasons.

      Not to include having a Park Ranger for a neighbor… I love him. he’s all sorts of trained for emergencies ;) If I don’t have it, we can jump on the sled, go up the street, and he will! Voila!

  9. Pixel says:

    > Fuel for stoves

    Seeing as how “portable stove” isn’t on the list, this seems a bit odd.

    > Extension cords

    Because I might suddenly want to watch TV in another room and not be able to find a plug?

    > Rock salt, calcium chloride, snow

    The first two make sense, but I don’t think you’ll need to stock up on snow. I’m thinking there will be plenty around…

    > Flares

    For signaling for help? This is getting odd…

    > Car jack
    > Lug wrench

    What for? In case your house gets a flat? If you’re not the sort who normally changes their own tires(and therefore have this at hand already), why would you suddenly be changing a tire while you are snowed in and can’t leave the house?

    • aloria says:

      Extension cords are for if you have a generator. It’s not that rare for people to get a generator “just in case,” and when it comes time to use it they realize, oh shit, you’ve got to power everything from a single point somewhere outside your house.

      • Invader Zim says:

        It better yet to have a kerosene heater available, k-1 fuel can be had at some gas stations. Then you really dont need the generator. There is plenty of cold white stuff outside to keep your food cold, and provide water if need be. Generators are noisy and would consume more fuel than a kerosene heater. Well since I’m yapping. Always light and extinguish a kerosene heater outside, once inside they are odor free.

        • aloria says:

          With all the people accidentally killing themselves from CO poisoning from using an indoor kerosene heater, I think I’d rather go with a generator.

    • Ramona_Little says:

      Yeah, those last few should really be prefaced by “and if you have a car . . .” Many of us in the NYC area rarely deal with these items.

    • menty666 says:

      Lug wrench is for dealing with looters

  10. B says:

    You forgot slim jims and Jack Daniels.

    • Taed says:

      And birth control.

      • Bibliovore says:

        You may have meant that as a joke, but making sure you’ve got sufficient amounts of all your medications and supplies is a good move. If you have pets, verify you’ve got enough of their food and any meds, too.

      • Brunette Bookworm says:

        Yeah, that’s important. There always seems to be a surge of births about 9 months after a big winter storm.

    • aloria says:

      That’s not me during a snow storm; shit, that was me two days ago!

  11. ExtraCelestial says:

    Good car insurance! I’m in MD and while I’m not terribly worried about icy roads, I am terribly worried about some of the idiot’s driving on them.

    • MountainCop says:

      We have the same problem in Colorado… where people think 4 wheel drive also means 4 wheel stop (it doesn’t) and that the laws of physics don’t apply to them.

      • Squee says:

        Actually, all 4 wheeled vehicles have 4 wheel stop, whether they are 2wd or 4wd.

        That being said, your sentiment is still correct, just because 4wd lets you get going, it does not make you stop any better than any other vehicle.

      • dolemite says:

        My favorite thing is to see a pickup or suv in a ditch on the side of a curve. Just means some idiot learned that his cornering, stopping, and EVERYTHING else related to driving outside of accelerating from a stop is just as bad as the guy in the honda civic he just flew past. In fact, it is worse, because the civic guy has to stop 2600 lbs while the SUV has to try and stop 6000 lbs.

      • comedian says:

        “where people think 4 wheel drive also means 4 wheel stop (it doesn’t)”

        Your statement represents either sloppy language or sloppy thinking.

        Why would you suggest that four wheel drive vehicles don’t have brakes on all four wheels?

        If people are thinking that their 4 wheel drive vehicles are also have 4 wheel stop vehicles then they are correct.

        • comedian says:

          Great, and in over-editing my reply I screwed up my own grammar.

          Self meet petard.

        • wanpakumono says:

          I think (and I think you already know too) that the reference was to the fact that the advantages of 4-wheel drive over 2-wheel drive don’t mean you have any advantages when stopping. Thanks for being overly-critical.

    • varro says:

      Flo here! We’re ready for the snowstorm, easy peasy!

    • EdnaLegume says:

      YAY Maryland. I just salted the stairs! Icy day woooo hooo!

  12. Watcher95 says:

    Storm of the Century …of the Week!

  13. LastError says:

    Um, it’s a little late. Winter’s been having its way with people for a couple months now.

    • DeathByCuriosity says:

      Some people live in areas that are generally mild during winter except for one or two random freak snowstorms.

      I’m in Oklahoma and that’s how it sometimes goes for us. Winter will be nice and cool, no snow or ice, temperatures will even creep up into the 60s or 70s, and then BAM! A massive ice storm will destroy trees and power lines (leaving people without power for a few days or a week), or a huge snowstorm will suddenly dump 10″ of snow on us. That’s how it’s been lately. Last week and this weekend were spring-like, and now we’re buried under several inches of snow. We’ve started to adapt over the last several years though.

      People “up north” are conditioned for winter weather and they have the drill down. Snow and ice are just not the norm around here. People aren’t in the habit of shoveling sidewalks, driving during winter weather, dressing for extreme cold, and all those other miscellaneous winter habits that are just part of life elsewhere.

  14. TooManyHobbies says:

    It baffles me that people don’t just always have that stuff. We’d have to be holed up for about 6 weeks before we’d even have to start looking for food. We have a generator and fuel for a week before starting to siphon the car tanks (which are always above 1/2 tank).

    • obscureabyss867 says:

      Not everyone has the space or money for those things. I live in an apartment just off campus and we barely have enough room for a week’s worth of food.

      • Bibliovore says:

        Some of the list is basic enough, or available small enough, to keep around regardless. Almost any home should already have a smoke detector and fire extinguisher. If you get winter weather, you already have winter garb, and either you’re responsible for ice/snow removal and already have that gear or somebody else is and you don’t need it. My keychain includes a tiny LED flashlight — you can get a ten-pack for less than $5 — and I have a first aid kit that’s smaller than a DVD case; a web search shows many, many options. A tool kit is often handy and needn’t be bulky; it can be as simple as an adjustable wrench (which, in a pinch, can awkwardly double as pliers or hammer) and a multi-head screwdriver tucked away somewhere, or a pocket multitool.

        My grandparents never worried about keeping water around. When they got hurricane warnings, they just filled the bathtub and sinks as an emergency supply for drinking or cooking.

        • obscureabyss867 says:

          Unfortunately I don’t have money to get a tool kit or even a flashlight right now. Hell, I don’t have money for food. And if you saw my bathtub you certainly wouldn’t recommend filling it with water for anything other than washing…

    • aloria says:

      I live in the NYC metro area where the average apartment is the size of a walk-in closet. Most people here prefer to use the scant amount of space they have for things like a bed, a couch, and a desk, not stockpiling up to zombie-apocalypse levels of preparation.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Like aloria, I live in a city, and more importantly, in an apartment. I don’t have enough room to store a generator. We don’t get enough snow every year to be snowed in, either, so I don’t see the point of storing something I would only use for the blizzard that only happens every five years or so.

  15. Doncosmic says:

    blankets, flashlight, batteries, books, cold food, beer.

  16. Rhinoguy says:

    The Forecast for North Carolina is a low of 40 and a high of 63. And the little generator is big enough to run the big three: Fridge, freezer and furnace. I can stay housebound for a month. Going slowly bonkers.

  17. HogwartsProfessor says:

    I’ll be fine unless the power goes out. We’re supposed to get 18-20″ of snow, and only a tiny bit of ice, so it should be fine. Snow usually falls off trees before it gets too bad, and we lost most of the limbs (and a lot of trees) during the 2007 ice storm. I have food, drinks, entertainment and my car cover is on. Plus I got a new dryer tonight (the old one broke) so I can do the wash.

    If the power goes out, I’m going to have to leave and go to a motel. All my sources of heat in here require electricity. Please, no. PLEEEEEZE

    • aloria says:

      If you live in a house, I’d highly recommend a generator if you’re that dependent on electricity. My parents’ house is the same way– stove, hot water, you name it– and after struggling through an entire week of no power after a really bad ice storm, they finally bit the bullet and got one.

      • Rachacha says:

        Even a small generator can power a small radiant heater (I recommend an oil filled radiator style because they don’t have an exposed heating element and they stay warm even after you turn off electricity) Set the heater up in a room and close the door. A 1200W heater can keep a decent sized room warm.

        If you want to upgrade to a larger size generator, invest in a generator transfer switch to power on a few key circuits in your house. It is much easier and safer to power up the genny and flip a switch and have the furnace and a few light circuits live than it is to run extension cords all over the house.

        I have a 5000W generator and a 6 circuit transfer switch and I have the furnace, overhead lights in the living areas (to power lights and ceiling fans for comfort in the summer) and receptacles (including for the refrigerators) in the living areas. There are a few things that don’t work, but I can fix that by running an extension cord to another nearby outlet to get my TV or hairdryer working. After 10 days without power a few years ago, it was the the BEST money I ever spent. I even had enough power to give some electricity to a neighbor so they could keep their refrigerator powered. In return, they split the cost of fuel (and helped run to the gas station) for running it.

        • HogwartsProfessor says:

          I love those oil-filled radiators! I have three of them. My mom gave me one of those little fake fireplace heaters and so I put the oil one that was in the living room into the back bedroom, which had no heater. They really make a difference (I have a small house) and keep the gas furnace from coming on too much. Saves money, since in the winter gas is usually way higher than electric.

      • HogwartsProfessor says:

        I thought about that after the 2007 ice storm and no power for 12 days. What I really want to do is MOVE. Between the ice storms and tornadoes and now blizzards, I’m past ready to get the hell out of here.

        It’s mostly sleet changing to snow at this point, so I think I’ll be okay. The freezing rain is what does most of the power mess.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      i suggest pets. if i lose all my heat it’s me, two cats and a dog under the biggest blanket fort i can make out of the futon.

      • HogwartsProfessor says:

        Ha ha, trying to put my cat in my blanket would require an ambulance to make its careful way to my house…she’s not house-friendly. With pending wind chills of -20 in the next day or so, I may drag her butt into the garage whether she likes it or not.

        I wish she weren’t like that. I have a little doghouse outside for her, insulated with a towel and a canvas cover, and a sheet of Mylar under the top layer of her blanket. Also, it’s raised up on wood blocks to keep off the ground. I’ll check on her today. Usually if she’s been in there, her little feet are warm and I check them to make sure she’s not frostbitten. Plenty of water, too.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          For her sake, maybe she should just deal with being inside for awhile.

        • Invader Zim says:

          Go get her now, before it gets harder to find her. In the adverse weather she may go elsewhere. Really nowhere outside will be as good as inside.

        • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

          As the owner of some outside cats, I used to worry about them being cold and needing my help. Then I would find them passed out in the weirdest places that were nice and toasty. There’s a 8″ space between the Bilco doors side and the house that’s always filled with leaves that I found them sleeping in. It has all the heat leaking from the basement and the house to keep them warm. But I usually find them in amongst the hay or in the amongst all the leg wraps for the horses.

        • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

          wow, that’s one stubborn cat. i have a feral cat right now that is sneaking into my house through the cat door to get warm. i thought it was just stealing food so i put some out but last night there was food still out there and it came in anyway, so clearly it wants to live in my house. unfortunately my cats are being mean to it.
          i’ll trade you.

  18. Rhinoguy says:
  19. Thebestdudeeverr says:

    Where is the beer!?

  20. DarksSideMoon says:

    My goodness, this seems a bit excessive. And as far as the water, couldn’t you just, you know, put a bucket outside and melt the snow?

    • Ragman says:

      Hot water heater. Mine holds 40 gallons.

    • Brunette Bookworm says:

      You haven’t been snowed in, have you? Or have well water? I fortunately live in town and my parents live on a state highway so our roads get plowed and in the power goes out, it gets restored quickly. During one bad storm when I still lived at their house, the power went out. No power means no water when you are on a well. You either need to store water or have a generator. No heat means pipes can freeze so if your power will be off for a long time, and some areas it took a week to get power back to them in that storm, you need to shut off the water. You don’t want leaking pipes and stuff when things do come back on.

    • deadbirds says:

      Im sorry but this is the one thing you must have! Snow can be dirty and get you very sick. Also, you will need more than you realize. I live in New Orleans and can attest to the fact that you can survive for days without food but will start to become VERY unhappy after a few hours without clean water and die in about 3 days. It’s cheap so stock up.

      “Plan for the worst and hope for the best!”

  21. bsh0544 says:

    Yes! A moderate amount of snow! PANIC!

  22. ThunderRoad says:

    List of shit that pansies on the east coast need. The midwest can handle snow, even a lot of it, thank you very much!

    • CRCError1970 says:

      I hear that… My 5000 watt generator is fueled up and ready to go. This shit happens often enough where I live that I actually had this stuff 3 months ago.

  23. Phil James says:

    Everyone in the Midwest, hit the liquor stores now before its too late!

    • Cantras says:

      had a water main break and we were on boil order for nearly a week. Grocery stores went completely nuts with people buying up all the bottled water.
      Bottled water all gone?
      Cheap weak beer was the next to get cleaned out.

  24. Darkneuro says:

    They forgot milk, bread and eggs. The stores all run out of those things all the time for storms….

  25. stevied says:


    30 day supply of your critical, life supporting prescription drugs.

    Yes, 30 days is excessive, but if plan for 30 and forget, then maybe, just maybe, you might have 3-4 day supply of the most critical drugs on hand when you can’t get your drugs via mail or by visiting your local pharmacy.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      pah, 30 days… i keep 90 days worth of insulin* on hand. after a pharmacy screw up where it took them 37 days to fill a prescription my doctor overprescribes for me.
      *and associated glucose testing/insulin pump supplies

      • stevied says:

        Good for planning ahead.

        Better than what I witness at my local pharmacy…… people buying only a day or weeks worth of generic diabetes drugs because they need to buy a 6 quart ice cream chaser.

        • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

          i’ve had waaay too many pharmacy issues in the past. i was diagnosed, sent home from the hospital with a prescription for one vial of insulin and one box of needles. [90 needles] for the originally prescribed 4 shots a day that was 22 days worth of supplies. my mail order pharmacy took over a month to get me set up for diabetes. insurance wouldn’t let me fill an interim prescription locally and without that, my state only permits you to buy 10 needles at a time. there’s nothing like going to the pharmacy a few times a week, waiting in line, showing your vial of insulin and having them say ‘weren’t you just in here a couple days ago?’
          so now my doctor works with me to make sure i never ever run out.

    • Verucalise (Est.February2008) says:

      Thank you for saying prescriptions. My daughter is disabled and an epileptic… I need to make sure I have at LEAST 2 diastats on hand for her if she goes into bad seizures. Not to include that some people never think about ibuprofren until they get a headache and find they can’t drive to the store.

    • Brunette Bookworm says:

      Ugh, that’s my worry. One of my prescriptions (have to do mail-order) is on it’s way. I hope it’s not too delayed by weather.

    • LastError says:

      For those relying upon insurance to cover the medications, you can run into a wall where the benefit provider will not pay for a preemptive refill because you’re not due for a refill. You have to wait until you’re literally out of the med to get a refill.

      A relative recently caught the bad end of this when they went to get their regular monthly refill and discovered the medication had been recalled by the manufacturer and there was none to be had, anywhere. They had to do a mad scramble to get something different from their doctor.

      That was discovered at the last moment because a just-in-time refill is all the insurance company will allow. Snow was not a factor, but if it had, you could not say “I’m going to be snowed in for a week, please refill early” -unless you want to pay out of pocket. A lot of people can’t do that.

      • stevied says:

        There is a trick that might work:

        Most insurance will allow refills to occur anywhere from 2 to 7 days before the due date….. with each refill (not a 1 time event)

        I had a critical drug with a 1st of the month refill date. Pharmacy was way too busy on the first dealing with the medicare/medicaid scripts.

        So I started filling early. And doing it again the next month. Before long I solved my crowd/busy problem and built up my reserve.

  26. Consumeristing says:

    In SoCal, we are going to experience 65 mph winds called Santa Anas this week. Horrible horrible stuff with the only upside being is that the high is 70 degrees for the week.

    • cash_da_pibble says:

      That sounds kinda rough, but confirms I am never leaving the San Francisco Bay Area.
      Everything out here has been built to be structurally sound since ’89.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      I’ve heard about those…scary winds. Enjoy the warm air though. *shivers, burrows under blanket*

    • raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

      I never saw houses with aluminum or vinyl siding when I was a kid; I grew up in a suburb of San Bernardino. The first time I saw those flimy little panels after moving to the east coast, I thought “Yeah, the first big gust is going to strip that house bare.”

      The Santa Anas would routinely do just as much damage to local trees as a hurricane, but without the rain, hail, and lightning. Just air. Freaking air.

  27. yurei avalon says:


    They have been panicking every week this winter with each storm, and every time it’s the same thing. I really don’t understand why they have to make it out to be the snowpocalypse each time when it’s barely an inconvenience at best. I still have to get up and go to work each day regardless of how well the streets are plowed or not. lulz.

  28. Rose says:

    1 gallon of water/person/day…

    The ability to correctly prophecy how many days you’ll be snowed in…

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      Usually they say to keep a three-day supply. By that time, emergency crews will have a handle on clearing roads and such. Unless you live somewhere where 20+ inches of snow is routine; then you will probably have an idea of how much you’ll need.

  29. Dr.Wang says:

    …or do what I did… Move to Phoenix. Then all you need is some sun screen, a windbreaker for a coat, and a nice book.

  30. Torchwood says:

    I don’t know about you folks, but much of this stuff should be in place at any time, not just for the megastorm of the week.

  31. cvv says:

    Every time there’s a “huge winter storm” everyone in Syracuse/Rochester/Buffalo can’t help but laugh at the rest of the country.
    Syracuse has had 114.4 inches of snow so far this season. Most schools have only had one or two snow days.
    Yes, I know we have more equipment and manpower to handle the snow, but there are times when the plow crews can’t keep up with the snow or ice – we just stay calm, drive carefully, and make it through the day.
    I think the media causes too many people to freak out over winter storms.

    • Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

      When I move to northern Utah from Las Vegas, everyone was all “They get 60 inches of snow a year!

      Really? I’ve seen nearly that from a single storm in upstate NY. Blizzard of ’77, anyone?

    • Rachacha says:

      As a Rochesterian now living in the DC area I could not agree more. My family was visiting me for Christmas when we had the “big” Christmas storm, and it was all the local news was talking about. My mother was getting worried as based on the amount they were discussing the storm, she was expecting about 30″ of snow, until I told her that the amount of reporting was normal and to only expect about an inch.

      The storm came and gave us about 1.5 inches. Mom (who hates driving in the snow) was sharing the overreaction with her friends and laughing about it.

      The one thing that I do have an appreciation for is when you get in the southern states (MD/VA etc) the day time temperatures get warm enough to start melting the snow, and at night it drops below freezing making for some slick conditions on the roads. In upstate NY it just stays below freezing from November until April so once you clear the snow you are good until spring thaw.

  32. chiieddy says:

    We have a gasoline powered generator and a switch in the basement to redirect the circuits of key items like the heat and hot water.

  33. haggis for the soul says:

    What are the odds of stupid people who buy generators but don’t use them properly making the situation worse? I was reading some emergency preparedness stuff and they mentioned that improper generator use could affect the utility workers, backfeeding, I think it’s called.

  34. wackydan says:

    – Firearm
    – Ammo

    People always forget about the snow zombies.

  35. valen says:

    Too late. Most of the good stuff was gone yesterday. Evidence:

  36. 6T9 says:

    Shut up. It snows every year.

  37. Bladerunner says:

    Another day in the great white north, meh

  38. majortom1981 says:

    IF you live in the NYC area you should have this stuff already. We have 3 feet or more of snow already on the ground.

  39. Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

    Too late for this storm, but add this to your emergency kit:

    Power inverter. Plugs into the car lighter and gives you a limited amount of 120v AC. You’ll need an extension cord to run electric into your house, and you’ll need to start the car every hour or so to charge the battery. And don’t be an idiot and run the car in the garage, run it outdoors.

    For those of you that have a land line phone, an “old school” phone – one that needs no electric – would be a good idea. Portable phones won’t work.

    If you have a gas stove, the ignitor may not work without electric, but you can still light it with a match or lighter.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      Yes, the landline is a good idea. I keep one in my office. The phone rarely goes out if the power does and that way I can call the utility company.

      • Ragman says:

        If you have fiber, you’re supplying the power. If you have the car inverter, you can plug the fiber PS and the cordless phone into it and call out.

        The telcos’ twisted pair line power rarely goes out b/c they’re powering the POTS from their end, and they have lots of experience with outages. It usually takes either a very unusual event to take out their DC line backup, or some pretty long term severe weather.

        Whenever we have the tornado siren go off, we pile into our shelter room with the windup weather radio, but I bring my laptop as well. I keep thinking I should hook up my router to a UPS so if the power goes out, I’ll be able to stay online for a little while longer, but our electric is pretty damn reliable here. Well, at least with bad weather – the longest outages were caused by idiots taking out a single pole and knocking out half the city’s power for hours.

  40. sgtyukon says:

    I can’t believe all of you people forgot you have to get milk and bread.

    • Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

      Milk: box of powdered for cooking. UHT milk – 2 gallons in the pantry. CHECK.

      Bread: Flour, yeast, gas oven. CHECK

  41. HighontheHill says:

    Survival is a mindset not a thing to be hastily thrown together and expected to magically coalesce, one prepares for these events every day of their lives as a vigilant citizen.

    Conspicuously absent from your list is a firearm, or firearms, and a good charge of ammunition for protection of your home from those who may not have prepared so well and are determined to take what they need.

  42. Mold says:

    Yes, one need the firearms and ammo for when the urban mud peeple leave their zombie high rises and come to the suburbs and farms to eat the only creatures that are human.
    Why are so many gun lovers so chickencrap about the fabled mass exodus from the cities? We have had numerous catastrophes in recent memory and not once was there a horde of urban dwellers emigrating to the countryside. In fact, it seemed that the worst of the deal was in the hinterlands.

    Still, if one lives in an area with predictable weather, one prepares.

  43. Fjord says:

    Just get knocked out on Vodka, won’t be able to eat or do much for the next couple of days.

  44. whiskykitten says:

    I stock up on those ThermaCare air-activated heating pads so my elderly mom can keep key joints from freezing up when the power’s out and she can’t use her electric heating pad. I also got her an LED headlight so she can bury herself under the down comforter and read read read.

    This last storm, our neighbors invited us over to warm up by their gas fireplace, which was heavenly after 24 hours in 48° temps. If it goes out again this winter we’re decamping there for the duration.

  45. Invader Zim says:

    Did we forget the wind up flashlight and radio? No battery needed.

  46. Brunette Bookworm says:

    Don’t forget enough food for your pets! I stopped last night to get a few things like pet food and non-cooking required foods that I would need if snowed in for a few days. It was time to buy the food anyway but always good to plan!

  47. Invader Zim says:

    Oh and charge your cell phones and rechargeable batteries.. Yeah there is a chance the towers may not work but you don’t want to lose communications because you forgot. PS: laptops make good recharging stations for cell phones via usb charging if your phone supports it.

    • Rachacha says:

      And, if you have a desktop computer running on a UPS (Battery backup) they can be used to charge cell phones/batteries/flashlights, or a small light for several hours (a desk lamp or work light with a CFL bulb will work for several hours off of a small UPS.

      I also love the rechargable flashlights that automatically turn on the flashlight if the power goes out. They normally are not very bright, but they give you enough light that you can navigate around a dark room to locate your more powerful flashlights.

      Normally if a storm is coming, I power down all of my electronics and turn off my UPSs. This way I have several hours worth of reserve electricity that I can tap into if I need it.

  48. Underpants Gnome says:

    Where do you get your Yeti-off? it’s so expensive at the local stores any time it snows and I haven’t found a reliable internet retailer for it.

  49. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    Observed Snow Depth Map & Snow Fall Forecast Maps:

  50. daemonaquila says:

    Having lived and worked in both city and rural Midwest areas most of my life, a lot of this list doesn’t make much sense to me. Most of these items are home staples – for instance, I don’t keep medical supplies around for storms, but in case someone gets hurt ANY day. If your power is off, why do you need extension cords? If your power is on, why do you need more of them? If you’re truly snowed in, why are you worried about water when you can open a window and dip out a bucket? If you live in areas where it snows, you hardly need to be urged to keep mittens, hats, etc. on hand just in case of emergencies – they’re daily outerwear.

    Unless you live in the South and a freak blizzard hits, you’re going to be reasonably well equipped regardless. A more practical list takes care of medical survival and getting you in and out of the house when you have to leave:
    * 10 day supply of all meds
    * Emergency power source (and car charger) for cel phone for emergency calls if the phones are down
    * Shovel and bags of kitty litter in the car trunk for weight and sprinkling on the ground for traction (especially if you have a rear-wheel drive!)
    * Extra windshield wipers (this was once a survival issue for me, personally, when caught in a major storm 20 miles from any town)
    * Well-nigh unbreakable car window scraper
    * Chemical heat pads for gloves and boots in the glove compartment and at home in case you have to hoof it somewhere
    * Tall, waterproof boots that you can walk in for several miles of deep snow
    * (Rural only) Battery powered LED flasher that can be hung by the road for an ambulance to see, if someone in the house may need medical help and visibility and roads are bad
    * A coffee can, charcoal, and lighter fluid (I know some people will say it’s dangerous, but tough!) to thaw out a car in sub-zero temps
    * A can of door lock de-icer, since your perfectly winterized car won’t get you anywhere if you can’t get in

    • Brunette Bookworm says:

      Yeah, I think us mid-westerners know this and have it but people new to the area need to know this and those in places like Dallas that are getting hit with snow need to know. Though, it’s a bit late for them. I have one of those Red Cross emergency kits which contain a good bit of stuff you’d need plus I never not have food. I live near Lake Michigan and when we had one big snow with a state of emergency declared it was interesting to see all the people who still went to work. I stayed home. All the other long-time residents stayed home. The people who went to work are ones who just moved here and have never experienced those kinds of storms. Silly people. When it’s a state of emergency and they say cops and plows aren’t out and won’t come get you if you get stuck, you stay home.

    • kosmo @ The Soap Boxers says:

      Whenever I replace my wiper blades, I toss the old set in the trunk, in case of emergency. A few years back, I cracked a wiper blade while scraping ice and have kept a spare set ever since.

      Of course, this works best if you replace the blades before they get down to the nub. Have a useless set in the trunk is, well, pretty much useless.

  51. mikeyo says:

    “and sand for melting snow”

    yeah? how does that work? :)

  52. missdona says:

    Can I get Yeti-Off on Amazon?

  53. Ragman says:

    Well, if you’re going to list car supplies for cold weather, where’s the blanket, food and water to carry in the trunk? Along with the extra scarf, cap, and gloves in the car as well, if you are like me and don’t have to bundle up b/c you have a short walk from the car to your workplace. They are flashlights with magnetic mounts that plug into the 12V socket for cars, so you don’t have to worry about batteries going bad – I lost a nice Sabrelight I used to carry in the trunk to corroded batteries. The batteries I carry in my emergency kit are kept out of the devices in case of corrosion, and I rotate them out annually.

    Wrenches and pliers? Better yet a small tool kit – my hot water heater holds 40 gallons, so it’s a great water backup, but it takes a flat head screwdriver to open the drain valve.

    The best thing is to sit down with a notebook and play “What if?” What if the power went out for 3 days, what would I need? What if I had to evacuate for a storm, what do I bring with me?(we had family evacuate for hurricanes for the first time in 50+ years this past decade, so it was a new thing) What if the police/Hazmat/fire dept beat on my door and said I had 5 mins to evacuate due to a chemical spill?

    You may get stranded like some did evacuating for hurricane Rita – what would you need with you in the car to make it less stressful if you had to sleep in it on the side of the road?

  54. Gravitational Eddy says:

    And for those of you who do not have access to a decent Kerosene heater during the expected power failure, here is an alternative for emergency use:
    The candle safe heater.
    Here’s how it works.
    Locate a large empty *metal* can, (like a 3 pound coffee can)
    and place a large candle inside it.
    Add about a half inch of water to the can and then light the candle.
    The reason for the water is safety, it makes the thing self-extinguishing in case the candle gets too short.
    I have sucessfully used all types of candles in this device without a single problem.
    The single candle will provide both light and heat at night in the coldest of rooms, usually bringing room temp up to at least 40-45 degrees when it’s below 30 outside. Not fantastic but liveable with extra clothing. Two or three candles will bump the temp to 55-60 degrees (or even higher).
    Plus, an added value: you can get rid of all those crappy “mood” candles your spouse likes to buy and inflict on you.
    Word of caution. Those gel-type candles that come in their own container are NOT recommended for use. Most of the time, they make them with glass containers, and as people have noticed, glass cracks rather easily when it’s hot. Runny liquid fuel with lighted wicks spells housefire!!

  55. Jonesey says:

    I don’t see a case of beer and a playstation on this list.

  56. theblackdog says:

    Ugh, this storm decided to bypass DC once again.

  57. Armand1880 says:

    My garage door decided to jam up today – just before the storm is supposed to it. My snow blower is trapped.

  58. billin says:

    Can of Yeti-Off? Please. I don’t need- AHHHHH! GET IT OFF!!!!

  59. NotEd says:

    Oh damn, I forgot the Yeti-Off.
    I hope this can of Sasquatch-B-Gone will take care of it.

  60. Hmmmmm needs more WarOtter says:

    What in the world is Yeti-Off?

  61. kataisa says:

    Don’t forget the milk, bread, and eggs!

  62. Weekilter says:

    Add to the list a corded regular not cordless phone. If your electricity goes out your phone may still work, but cordless phones will not work with no electricity.

  63. 451.6 says:

    Oh please. I won’t even get a snow day out of this tomorrow. Sometimes I think Central New Yorkers would die before they admit conditions aren’t safe for driving.

  64. Kibit says:

    Please don’t let your cats or any other animals stay outside.

    I just saw a picture on Facebook of a cat that looked like he had been sleeping and now incased in ice.

    I’m pissed that anyone would share a picture like this. It makes me sick!

    If you’re on Facebook the page is SNOWPOCALYPSE 2011 and the kitty is in the photo section. I hope it is faked, but I don’t believe it is.

  65. mileena says:

    I never knew sand was capable of melting snow!

    And an extension cord?? Yeah let’s connect it to your generator or a neighbor’s house and burn down your house when the cord becomes overloaded.