Winter in Michigan… wait, EVERY season in Michigan can spell a disastrous storm, so everyone who lives here has to be prepared for hours or days without power, and sometimes even just being snowed in. But no matter where you live, you ought to be prepared, right? So read through this list, check your pantry and kitchen drawer, and read through this list of 7 ways to prepare for bad weather.
1. Gather Candles and Matches and Flashlights
If a storm knocks the power out, you’re going to want to have candles, matches, and flashlights ready for lighting so you don’t have to go fumbling around in the dark to look for them. I keep a supply in a plastic bin on a shelf in the garage for storms only, and I make sure it’s stocked well a few times a year.
2. Charge Cell Phones
Since most of us don’t have land lines anymore, if we plan to be in touch, we’ll need to make sure our cell phones are fully charged before a storm hits — and that we don’t use them for anything other than making important calls, since we don’t know how long the power will stay out, or when we’ll be able to charge them again. No worries! No-one ever died from not texting. Truly. You’ll be fine.
3. Fill Your Tank
If you drive an electric car or gas-electric hybrid, make sure your car is changed before the storm, so you can still get around. If you drive a traditional fossil-fuels car, fill the gas tank before the storm (and be prepared to pay extra for gas).
4. Get Batteries
All of the gadgets we love, and will want to use, from flashlights to iPods, can be charged using batteries, so make sure you have a supply of them handy — and check a few times a year to make sure they’re not expired. Yes. Batteries have an expiration date.
5. Have a Radio
How will you stay updated on the storm if you don’t have a TV? This is why it’s important to have an AM/FM radio that runs on batteries or has its own small generator built in. Know which channels broadcast the information you’ll want, and make sure you have a few changes of batteries in your battery stash.
6. Prepare for Boredom
No TV. No internet. No XBOX. Little light for reading after dark. What in the world are you going to be doing all those hours during and after the storm? Gather board games, a deck of cards, and that sort of thing so you don’t get cabin fever… or just get bored.
7. Food and Water, Too
Make sure you have plenty of bottled water on hand, since sometimes water purifiers and even county treatment centers go down during and after a storm. Also, make sure you have plenty of food that doesn’t require a stove to cook, and gather your prescription medications, too.
8. Have an Evac or Meet-up Plan
During a storm, anything can happen, and if cell phones aren’t working, you won’t be able to make a plan on the fly. That’s why it’s so important to have a plan your whole family already knows: who does what, where you’ll all meet, and so on.
Print this checklist and be sure to have everything ready, and a plan in place, BEFORE a storm hits… and you’ll never be caught unaware by a natural disaster again, even in you live in Michigan! How do you prepare for a storm… is there anything I left off my list? Please share!
Top Photo Credit: bestillandknit