Winter Preparedness Checklist

When wintry weather blows, will your family be prepared?

Winter brings special seasonal challenges to an organized home.

Winter storms can make navigating roads and walkways hazardous; power outages and snow days highlight any family's readiness for cold weather.

Take time now to review your family's emergency preparedness with this Winter Preparedness Checklist. It'll help you prepare your home and automobile for cold-weather hazards.

Out and About

Will your home welcome winter visitors safely? Get ready for snow, ice or rain on walks and driveways by stocking up on these cold-weather basics.

  • Snow shovel
  • De-icing compound
  • Waterproof floor mats

The Inside Story

Household emergency supplies should include enough food, water and supplies to last four days without power or help. Check your home emergency kit against this basic checklist.

  • Food that doesn't require heating or refrigeration, such as canned meats, soups and stews, cereal, and energy bars
  • Manual can opener
  • Paper plates, cups and plastic utensils
  • 1 gallon of water per person per day (allow enough for four days)
  • Flashlights and batteries
  • Battery-powered radio
  • Battery-powered clock
  • Cellular phone
  • First-aid kit (printable first-aid kit checklist)
  • Four-day supply of prescription medicines
  • Blanket and cold-weather clothing for each family member
  • Pet food and additional water for household pets

On The Road:

Winter transportation can mean coping with ice, snow, and hazardous roads. Road conditions can change in an instant. Before traveling, give cars a winter preparedness exam.

  • Check antifreeze
  • Check and replace older batteries
  • Remember to keep the gas tank near full to avoid freezing water in the fuel line
  • Check tires and spare tire for proper inflation

Make sure automobiles contain the following emergency supplies to handle winter road hazards.

  • Bag of sand, road salt or non-clumping cat litter. The bag's extra weight means better traction, and the contents can be spread under slipping tires.
  • Ice scraper
  • Jumper cables
  • Small shovel (to dig snow away from wheels, or scatter sand on roadway)
  • Tire chains (every driver should practice putting them on)
  • Flares or reflective triangle to warn other motorists if you break down
  • Blanket
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Gallon jug of drinking water
  • First aid kit

When traveling by car, include emergency food and clothing for each traveler.

Pack supplies in an easy-to-carry emergency backpack in case you need to abandon your car.

Your emergency backpack should include these preparedness items.

  • Jacket, hat, gloves and sturdy, snow-proof boots for each traveler
  • Nonperishable food
  • Bottled water
  • Cellular phone
  • Money