One of the most dangerous seasons each year is winter unless you are properly prepared for it. If you decide to wait until a winter warning or a watch has been issued to get the emergency supplies you will need to make it through the storm then you will most likely have a problem.Most stores today typically only keep a small supply of products on hand because they use a pull system for their inventory. The pull system normally works great for inventory but it does not take into account that everyone will need extra of certain items when a storm or emergency occurs because it is hard to plan for the unexpected. By the time a storm rolls in and everyone rushes out to the store in a panic to buy their emergency supplies there are not enough to go around. for the increase in demand. It does not take long for the stores to run out of the essentials leaving many people in the dark and empty handed.
This is why it is best if you prepare a checklist of essential supplies that you will need during an emergency ahead of time. Then if you plan ahead to buy them a few at a time starting with the most essential items first, you will eventually build up an adequate supply to keep on hand at all times. This way you are less likely to be caught with your pants down in the event of a freak storm that just appears out of nowhere with no warning.
Even a small amount of snow on the roads can make for extremely dangerous driving conditions on mountainous, winding roads. In the south they typically do not have the equipment to deal with a lot of snow because it is not usually necessary. This means it may take the county several days before the main roads are plowed enough for the power companies to get out and restore electrical service to remote areas.
This is one reason why you should always have a backup source of heat if you typically heat with electric. Propane, Kerosene or wood are all good alternatives that you can depend on during a power outage. Having a wood stove provides an alternative for cooking in addition to heat.
Hypothermia and frostbite are two of the greatest dangers in the winter time. So it is important to have a way to get warmed up even when there is no power in the house. When you go outside be sure to dress in layers and wear a hat with gloves to protect your hands and ears.
Numbness, burning, tingling or white patches on the skin are signs of possible frost bite. If you have any of these symptoms then you should warm up the body part slowly and elevate it to prevent further injury. Next you will want to have it looked at by someone that has experience with frost bite. Hypothermia is signaled by shivering, and an increase in heart rate, blood pressure and a breathing rate later followed by a decrease in them. It is best if you can remove the wet clothes from the person and move them inside to warm them as a part of treating them for hypothermia.
A kerosene lantern or battery powered flashlight can provide enough adequate light in an emergency situation. Candles are a handy source of light but may be dangerous around kids or animals and should be used with caution. Having a chain saw comes in handy to cut down any tree limbs that might have fallen across the road or your house. However, you should never try to cut up a tree that has fallen on a power line because you can be electrocuted. When the storm is over it is a good idea to can check on your animals and see what damages there might be to your property.
You should have a good first aid kit for all emergencies and a couple of weeks of food in the house at all times. Then if you get snowed in you will have enough food to last until it is safe to go to town. Visibility is often very bad during a snow storm which causes the unsafe driving conditions. Even if you are an experienced driver in snow that does not mean the next guy is. That is why you are better off staying home unless it is a real emergency.