Although I was never a Boy Scout, I now know the meaning of the group’s motto “be prepared.” I had this recently happened during the storm of the century we had for three treacherous days in February 2021 in Dallas and Plano Texas. It started late Sunday night with sub-zero temperatures and record snowfall, then we had rolling blackouts that started in the middle of the night on Sunday and continued through Wednesday evening. To add fuel to the fire, another winter storm hit us on Tuesday morning with another round of snow. Fortunately, we were somewhat prepared and had many items listed in this blog, and it should be a guide for any future storms we may encounter. Over this period, we were without power over 50 percent of the time, no heat, no lights and at one point it got down to 48 degrees in the house. Must have emergency items for severe weather. Contact Plano Texas Handyman for all your home repair needs at 214-507-3415.
-Making sure there are adequate supplies of water, nonperishable foods, batteries and medicines can make a storm a- bit easier to weather. While the path of winter storms can be predicted, other storms often blow up out of nowhere, catching people by surprise. In no time, you can be out of power, out of food and out of luck. That’s why a storm preparedness kit is essential.
When this storm hit, many Texans went into storm survival mode by making sure we had adequate supplies of food and water, made sure the grill worked, had ice coolers to store to store perishables, had candles, dog food, consumables like Toilet paper. It was daunting to go into a Kroger, running on generator power, to buy supplies only to find the shelf’s 1/2 empty and having to be creative to purchase any remaining food items for dinner. Must have emergency items for severe weather
Fortunately, I had plenty of batteries for my LED flashlights, I had canned food and was able to purchase additional items, and I had plenty of candles since my wife loves them, and we had a home survival plan to prevent any damage from freezing temperatures.
That’s why you need to be prepared. Experts say you should have enough food, water and other supplies for at least 72 hours. Moreover, you should keep your survival kit in a safe place that is cool and dry. And if you already have a kit, make sure it’s up-to-date. Must have emergency items for severe weather
If you’re making a kit, we’ll tell you the 10 essential items you need to include in it next.Contents
- Battery-powered or Hand-cranked Radio
- Water Meter Key
- Sleeping Bags/Blankets
- Sanitary Items
- Games and Other Activities
10: WATER is probably the most important element of any survival kit, and the hardest to store. After a storm, you might not have a drop of water to drink. Your regular source of drinking water could be compromised because of contamination. There might not be any electricity to run your well’s water pump. When the water isn’t flowing, there’s nothing to rink, nothing to bathe in and nothing to flush toilets.
9: FOOD – Canned vegetables and soup, boxed cereal, peanut butter, crackers and other nonperishable food should be part of your kit. Once again, the experts say store at least a three-day supply. Make sure that the food in your emergency kit are foods your family, especially children, will eat. Don’t pack salty snacks, or other foods that will make you thirsty. Also, make sure you have a manual can opener. Must have emergency items for severe weather
8: RADIO – It sounds so last century. But once the power goes out, there will be relatively few ways to recharge your iPads, cell phones, tablets, PCs, laptops and other electronic devices. That’s why having a portable radio — you know, the transistor kind — is essential. Keeping abreast of vital storm warnings, news and other information is critical during an emergency. During a storm emergency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will broadcast weather and other information on its nationwide network of radio stations.
7: WATER METER SHUT OFF KEY – Water is gushing out of a burst pipe in the upstairs bathroom! A small flood is beginning to build in the kitchen as the water collects with nowhere to go. Or a leaking toilet is starting to drip into your entry hall. Do you know how to turn off the water to your house while waiting for the plumber to come have a look? One way to halt the flow before more damage is done is to get yourself to your home’s shut off valve armed with an essential tool called a water shut off key. It’s an essential tool that should come with every home, and learn how to use them and where to use them.
6: LIGHTING – If the power goes out, you’ll need to see at night. That’s why flashlights and camp lights are essential. Some companies even make a combination electricity/light/radio that seems to be handy when the electricity is out. These portable units are equipped with a weather radio, detachable flashlight and a charging port that can power small electronics, such as portable cell phones. These devices come with a 12-volt rechargeable battery [source: Amazon]. Candles and dry matches are also essential, just be careful using them.
5: SLEEPING BAGS / BLANKETS – Each person should have a warm blanket. If you live in a colder climate, then it’s important to have additional bedding. Clothing should also be part of your household storm emergency. Make sure you have a complete change of clothing for each person, which includes a long-sleeve shirt, long pants, jacket and reliable shoes. Once again, if you live where it’s colder, store extra clothing including hats and gloves. Also make sure everyone has a pillow, extra underwear and socks. Store these items in a waterproof backpack which you can get from weather proof hunting backpack sales shops so that these items won’t get soaked in cold water.
4: SANITARY ITEMS – Toothpaste, toilet paper, diapers, soap and other sanitary items should also be on your emergency storm list. Some items might not seem important until you run out of them, such as contact lens solution, denture cream and feminine supplies. Stick everything in a waterproof container
3: UTENSILS – You don’t want to be eating beans out of a can with your fingers. Clean utensils and mess kits will make life a little bit easier after a storm rolls through. To clean utensils, and any other surfaces, keep a bottle of chlorine bleach and a medicine dropper in your kit. By diluting one part bleach with nine parts water, you will create a perfect disinfectant
2: GAMES AND ACTIVITIES – It’s every parent’s nightmare. There’s no power. That means there’s no TV, no video games, no juice to charge up junior’s iPod. What’s a parent to do when the kids are bored? No emergency kit would be complete, especially if you have children, without board games, puzzles, coloring books and other activities. Listen, it’s hard enough getting through a storm without a gaggle of kids clamoring at your heels. These items will make the going a little less tough. Also, make sure you have pencils, paper and pens available.
1: CASH – In the aftermath of a storm, banks might not be open and ATMS might be shuttered. One word, well actually four words: cash or traveler’s checks. Before a storm hits, go to the bank or ATM and withdraw money. After a storm, some businesses might reopen even though they don’t have any power. Without power, the clerk isn’t going to be able to swipe your debit or credit cards. If you need to buy extra food, fuel, or other items, having cash in your pocket is the only way you can transact business. Must have emergency items for severe weather