Essentials for weathering a winter storm

It’s good to be prepared when a winter storm hits.

Spring might be just around the corner, but Mother Nature can be fickle and whip up last minute, wicked winter storms. Power outages and plunging temps can take a dangerous turn and making sure you’re stocked with basic supplies is essential.

If you’re on the road and stuck in freezing temps you’ll need to make sure you can survive for a few hours, if not a few days. The key to any emergency scenario is ensuring you are prepared well before a dangerous event occurs. Always have an emergency kit both at home and in your car.

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Also, communication with friends and family may be spotty or not possible. It’s a good idea to create a Communication Disaster Plan.

Weather Proof Your Home

  • Insulate any water lines that run along exterior walls so your water supply will be less likely to freeze.
  • Caulk and weather-strip doors and windows.
  • Insulate walls and attic.
  • Install storm or thermal-pane windows or cover windows with plastic from the inside.
  • Repair roof leaks and cut away tree branches that could fall on your home or other structure during a storm.

Install a smoke detector and a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector.

  • If you’ll be using a fireplace, wood stove, or kerosene heater, install a smoke detector and a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector near the area to be heated. Test them monthly and replace batteries twice a year.
  • Keep a multipurpose, dry-chemical fire extinguisher nearby.
  • All fuel-burning equipment should be vented to the outside.
  • Each winter season have your furnace system and vent checked by a qualified technician to ensure they are functioning properly.

Create an emergency car kit.

It is best to avoid traveling, but if travel is necessary, keep the following in your car:

  • Cell phone, portable charger, and extra batteries
  • Items to stay warm such as extra hats, coats, mittens, and blankets
  • Windshield scraper
  • Shovel
  • Battery-powered radio with extra batteries
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Water and snack food
  • First aid kit with any necessary medications and a pocket knife
  • Tow chains or rope
  • Tire chains
  • Canned compressed air with sealant for emergency tire repair
  • Cat litter or sand to help tires get traction, or road salt to melt ice
  • Booster cables with fully charged battery or jumper cables
  • Hazard or other reflectors
  • Bright colored flag or help signs, emergency distress flag, and/or emergency flares
  • Road maps
  • Waterproof matches and a can to melt snow for water


Listen to weather forecasts, and check your supplies.

Listen to weather forecasts regularly and check your emergency supplies, including your emergency food and water supply, whenever you are expecting a winter storm or extreme cold. Even though we can’t always predict extreme cold in advance, weather forecasts can sometimes give you several days of notice to prepare.

Bring your pets indoors.

If you have pets, bring them indoors. If you cannot bring them inside, provide adequate shelter to keep them warm and make sure they have access to unfrozen water.

Get your car ready.

Have maintenance service on your vehicle as often as the manufacturer recommends. In addition, every fall, do the following:

  • Have the radiator system serviced or check the antifreeze level yourself with an antifreeze tester. Add antifreeze as needed.
  • Replace windshield-wiper fluid with a wintertime mixture.
  • Make sure the tires on your car have adequate tread and air pressure. Replace any worn tires and fill low tires with air to the proper pressure recommended for your car (typically between 30-35 psi).
  • Keep the gas tank near full to help avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines.
  • Keep your car in good working order. Be sure to check the following: heater, defroster, brakes, brake fluid, ignition, emergency flashers, exhaust, oil, and battery.

Thank you, CDC, for the emergency info


Whether you’re driving in wintry conditions or waiting for the power to come back on at home, these products from Sea to Summit, BioLite and Somewear Labs can keep you warm, charged, connected and well-lit while weathering the storm.


BioLite Charge 80 PD 
A fast USB-C PD Powerbank to keep your laptops, tablets, phones and other electronics charged while the power is out.

  • Charge multiple devices at once
  • 20,000 mAh rechargeable battery
  • Fully charge a 13″ laptop
  • Portable & durable design
  • 1x USB-C PD port, up to 18W, 2x USB-A Quick Charge Out ports
  • $69.95

BioLite HeadLamp 330 
Headlamps are better than flashlights during a power outage – from preparing a meal to reading a book, it’s important to have both hands free. This rechargeable headlamp delivers top-tier performance and comfort for hours on end.

  • Max Output 330 Lumens
  • Red Night Vision Included
  • 40 hours on LO, 3.5 Hours on HIGH
  • $59.95

Sea to Summit Cinder Quilt 
Losing power can also mean losing heat. This RDS 750+ LoftDown quilt provides plenty of warmth, but packs down small so it’s easy to store when it’s not in use. Keep the Cinder Quilt on hand for extra warmth during a power outage, or pack it into your winter driving preparedness kit in the event of a roadside emergency. 

  • Drawcord cinches the foot end into a footbox for cooler conditions
  • Includes a Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Compression Sack and large storage cube
  • Connect two quilts together to make a double—Cinder, Glow and Ember Quilts
  • $199.00 – $219.00

Somewear Labs Global Hotspot 
A dependable and simple to use satellite communication hotspot that can be a lifeline in the event of a winter roadside emergency, and give friends and family peace of mind during a power outage or when cell signal has been impacted by a storm. The compact satellite device connects with your phone to provide:

  • 100% global coverage on Iridium, the world’s most reliable and advanced LEO satellite constellation network
  • 2-way text messaging (SMS, email) via the Somewear App, weather reports, location sharing, user tracking
  • Serves as a stand-alone emergency transmitter that can be activated without connection to a phone, facilitates 2-way communication between emergency response and the distressed user, geo-tracking if victims are on-the-move
  • Pairs with iOS and Android devices, easy-to-use mobile app
  • $279.99

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