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14 Supplies to Help You Prepare for a Blizzard

What you need to prepare for a snowstorm so you have the essentials before, during, and after an emergency strikes.

Snow covered suburban home. iStock

A blizzard, snowstorm, or even a heavy snowfall at the wrong time or place can be a rude surprise for homeowners without the necessary supplies for prep and cleanup.

Don’t be caught off guard the next time the white stuff threatens to cripple your region. Prepare for a blizzard ahead of time and arm yourself with these goods and be ready to deal with the chilly aftermath.

What Should You Do Before, During, and After a Blizzard?

There are 14 essentials to help you prepare for a blizzard. Here is what you should have on hand before a snowstorm, the generators you’ll need during the blizzard and equipment to clean up with afterward.

Items for Your Emergency Preparedness Kit

1. Hand Crank Light

Hand Crank Light Courtesy Amazon

Lanterns and other lights that don't require electricity are necessary for any household, but a hand crank one is required in any basic storm kit. This super-bright LED lantern never needs batteries—just an occasional wind-up to keep the light shining as long as needed.

Solar Powered, Crank Dynamo, Battery Operated Lantern, about $44

2. Hand Crank Radio

Hand Crank Radio Courtesy Amazon

Finding a way to get the news while your power's down is essential. This modern hand-crank unit not only delivers traditional news via the radio, but can help keep you connected to friends and family with a mobile phone charger and a USB input.

Eton American Red Cross Hand Turbine Weather Radio, about $30

3. Freeze Alarm

Freeze Alarm Courtesy Amazon

Being alerted to the fact that your home has lost power before you walk into a freezing, dark house can prepare you for the challenges you'll face when you get home. This little device alerts you when the temperature drops out of the designated range.

MOCREO ST4 WiFi Thermometer Freezer Alarm, about $77

4. Battery Backup Sump Pump

Sump pump Courtesy Home Depot

Snow may be pretty and all, but it's still just frozen water. If the temps warm up and that snow starts melting, you could end up with a flooded basement—a double whammy if the power goes out too, taking your sump pump with it. A battery backup sump pump is your basement's best friend because it's there all the time, especially when you lose power and need it the most.

Basement Watchdog Emergency Battery Backup Sump Pump, about $200

5. Emergency Kit

To best prepare for a blizzard, follow the advice of the American Red Cross and assemble a single bag full of items that are essential for survival during a disaster. Items in the kit will vary based on the size of your family and each person's medications. See the minimum supplies list suggested by the Red Cross.

6. Weatherseal Tape

Weatherseal Tape Courtesy Amazon

The window repair man may be busy tending to his own storm-ravaged home. This cold temp-safe clear tape is nice to have around in the case of cracked windows from tree branches and other flying debris. Or, use it to seal air leaks where you feel drafts for a quick, temporary fix.

Frost King Clear Plastic Seal Tape, about $11

Generators and Portable Power

7. Airtight Gas Can

Airtight Gas Can Courtesy Amazon

Several items in our emergency prep list run on gasoline, so an airtight gas can is an absolute must.

No-Spill 1405 2-1/2-Gallon Poly Gas Can, about $29

8. Portable Generator

Portable Generator Courtesy Amazon

This generator offers 3,300 watts of power and 3.9 gallons of gas, and it can support your machines and devices for up to eight hours.

DuroStar DS4000S Portable Generator, about $479

Debris Removal

9. Sturdy Work Gloves

Work Gloves Courtesy Amazon

Snow and debris removal is quicker and safer with a sturdy pair of gloves. Choose ones that won't easily tear or let in moisture to slow you down.

CLC Custom Leathercraft 125XX Handyman Flex Grip Work Gloves, about $19

10. Chainsaw

Chainsaw Courtesy Amazon

Branches weighed down by heavy wet snow can become fallen limbs or even downed trees. Saw them into manageable pieces for safe and easy removal—and in some instances, firewood use.

See more of our chainsaw picks.

Husqvarna 460 Rancher Gas Chainsaw, about $699

Snow and Ice Removal

11. Lock De-Icer

Lock De-Icer Courtesy Amazon

Being locked out of your home or car during a snowstorm or below-freezing temperatures could leave you shivering in the cold. Keep this deicer nearby throughout winter just in case.

Lock De-Icer and Lubricant, about $14

12. Walk Behind Salt Spreader

Walk behind salt spreader Courtesy Amazon

Keeping driveways and walkways free from snow and ice is considerably easier with a salt spreader. This walk-behind model is easy to operate and covers a large radius to help get the job done faster.

Scotts Elite Spreader, about $154

13. Height-Adjustable Snow Shovel

Shoveling snow can be back-breaking work. Save your back for other activities, like riding out the storm in your recliner with a cup of hot chocolate. This shovel adjusts to the height of the user, and has a mechanism to lift and dump snow without forcing the shoveler to bend.

Bigfoot 54 in. Power Lift Snow Shovel, about $39

14. Gasoline-Powered Snow Thrower

Gasoline-Powered Snow Thrower Courtesy Amazon

Do you have a driveway that's too large for clearing snow drifts with a shovel? This electric thrower promises to toss drifts up to 30 feet away and clear a path through as high as a foot of snow.

PowerSmart Snow Blower Gas Powered, about $500

See more of our snow blower picks.