Are you prepared for winter weather? Learn how to build a thorough Winter Emergency Survival Kit to prepare for power outages in an emergency.
Winter Emergency Survival Kit
Ever since we had Winter Storm Atlas, I felt like we weren’t prepared like I wanted us to be for winter. We did alright but not as well as I’d hoped and I definitely saw some areas for improvement.
The main area I wanted to improve on was just to simply build a much better winter emergency survival kit. We had some supplies before but since we moved our new place in an even more rural location, I was very concerned with our safety and what could happen if we were without power for a week or more.
Using what we’ve learned from the years past and what we learned from our most recent storm, I put together a brand new home winter survival kit for our family and I’m very happy with what’s in it.
Here’s a list of what is in our new kit:
Mr. Buddy Heater
My #1 concern was heating with our winter emergency survival kit. We ended up getting quite cold during the last storm and did not have backup heat. Our farmhouse has a pellet stove but even those take electricity to run. (For the pilot). We could run a generator or we could look for another option and that’s what we did. We ended up purchasing one of these Mr Buddy Portable Heaters and they will heat up to 200 square feet with propane. Of course, that won’t heat our whole house but that would make it very easy to heat a blocked off section. These are safe to use indoors and have oxygen sensors and tip over auto shut-offs. Don’t forget the propane hose if you end up getting one and wanted to hook it to a bigger tank (like a grill size tank) like we will do. You can connect these to those small propane tanks too. We’ve used this in our outdoor shop and inside once when we didn’t have any heat and it really is amazing. It heats up very quickly and is efficient.
Lighting can be a pretty big deal as well. In the winter it gets dark so fast and on blizzarding days it’s often very dark all day long. I already had one of these d.Light Lanterns and I picked up another light from the same company, this Task Lantern for the tabletop. I still want to add at least one more of these to our winter survival kit. They do not need full sun power to charge (any light seems to do) and they last up to 8 hours.
I have a stockpile of unscented candles as well and we could always make Olive Oil Candles as well, these provide pretty good light. Enough to play card games in the dark with!
–I’ve recently added a few BioLite Solar Products to our kit as well.
I love the solar lanterns I talked about above for lighting that we can take anywhere but I also purchased a good oil lamp to have for a backup light source as well. I picked up this Blue Lantern because it was inexpensive and it’s well built. It’s also not huge so it’s easy to store. I picked up some extra lantern wick to have in our winter emergency survival kit as well. Now for oil, I wasn’t really looking forward to picking up regular petroleum based oil. I don’t really feel like it’s safe to burn indoors (and I think it’s kind of smelly!). I was very happy to find this non-petroleum, vegetable based Lantern Oil on Amazon. I’ll continue to stock up on more wick and oil as our budget allows.
Other Items in our Winter Emergency Survival Kit
Some other things in our home emergency kit for winter that I already had but are important to include here are:
- Gas Stove or Rocket Stove
- Water Tanks (Enough to hold 2 weeks of water, 1 gallon per person per day, see more on Stockpiling Water)
- Matches and Lighters
- Berkey Water Filter
- Heat & Eat Food (for us this means our home-canned goods that simply can be warmed on the stove such as Canned Pinto Beans)
- Blankets and Warm Clothes
- Mylar Blankets
That covers the basics: heat, food, light.
One other thing that I failed to think about last time was something special for our little guy. He didn’t really seem to notice that the power was out until dark and seemed a little scared when we only had flashlights. So I decided to put aside a few things for our home to have for these times. I bought these little finger puppets (I was thinking we could still put on some fun puppet shows with flashlights!). I also bought him his own little Solar Powered Flashlight, small enough for his hands. Nothing big, but a few small things I know I will be glad for when the time comes!
–Read more about Disaster Preparedness for Children.
The above is simply the additions for winter that we have added to our regular Emergency Preparedness Kit. Of course, I would still recommend having all the regular basics (flashlights, weather radio, first aid kit, etc). You can learn all about Weather Radios here…everyone should have one!
Another important thing to do is to put all of this together (the best you can) and know where it is! It’s not going to do you any good if you need a heat source in the middle of the night and you can’t remember where you put your Mr Buddy. For that reason, I also highly recommend putting a Mini Emergency Kit in each room of your house.
If you are preparing for winter, make sure to check out all of my Winter Weather Preparedness Tips!
Looking for more posts to prepare you for winter? Here are a few to read next:
- Ways to Keep Your Mind Busy Through the Rest of a Long Winter
- 12 Tips to Save Money on Heating Bills
- Extreme Ways to Save Electricity
- How to Survive Temporarily With No Running Water (Without Going Crazy!)
- How to Prepare for a Blizzard
- 8 Ways Anyone Can Prepare for a Power Outage
What is in your winter emergency survival kit that I forgot to mention here? Do you have any of these things already?
This Winter Emergency Survival Kit was published on Little House Living in December 2013. It has been updated as of December 2019.