As we reported yesterday, now is a good time to stock up on what you need during the blizzard about to hit the East Coast. While its not advisable to travel long distances at this time, better to get yourself situated for a few days, but don’t delay past dark. Here is a checklist for families and individuals alike:
BRING ALL PETS INSIDE! DO NOT LEAVE PETS OUTDOORS AT THIS TIME!
- One gallon of water per person per three-days. NOTE EMERGENCY TIP BELOW
- Stock up on food for the next 72 hours: Meats, canned soup, breads, eggs, etc.
- Stock up on other supplies: firewood* (if applicable), batteries, candles, matches
- If your car is parked on the street, and you are able to, move it. Many cars lose control in a storm, and often plow into the unlucky car parked along the street.
- Now is your last chance to save any delicate plants you might have outside. If youcannot bring them in, but want to give them a fighting chance, try covering them with garbage bags, which will act as a pseudo-greenhouse.
- Call the senior citizens in your family or neighbors who might be affected by the storm, especially those who live alone. Ask if they have supplies, and a cell phone (maybe lend one). In the event of a power outage, seniors and children are most susceptible to succumb to freezing temperatures.
- Charge all cell phones.
- Place flashlights, candles, or matches in an area where you can retrieve if its dark.
- If you do lose power, and you have a fireplace, consider having all family members assemble in one room to maintain heat. Close off other rooms.
*make sure firewood is not wet. Real wood is ideal: Duraflame logs are meant for ambiance and give off less heat that wooden logs. However, they are better than nothing. Do not attempt to light a fire if you do not have a fireplace! Monoxide kills.
NOTE: If you run out of water, and happen to be on a water bump (i.e. unable to get more water), remember this tip. The water found in the UPPER TANK of your toilet is clean and available for drinking. Water in the TANK is separate from the bowl, and a toilet is designed so that the pressure of the upper tank keeps water completely separate from the bowl. It is a one-way direction only. If you need water, do not melt snow as your first source. You will
have to go outside for that, and what melts will not be worth the pay-off. Rather, use the tank water. Your kids might think its gross, but explain to them how a toilet works. This tip is true for cleaning any wounds as well (which is where I learned this trick- in earthquake preparedness class).
So break out the hot chocolate, and great music. You’re in for a bumpy ride! Make it fun by adding games for the family too.
Local Washington DC stations to listen to for updates: