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
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.
2. Hand Crank Radio
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.
3. Freeze Alarm
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
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.
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
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
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
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
9. Sturdy Work Gloves
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.
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.
Husqvarna 460 Rancher Gas Chainsaw, about $699
Snow and Ice Removal
11. Lock De-Icer
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
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
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