by Lee Flynn

Surviving a snowstorm

Snowstorm Jonas recently caused 29 deaths related to the storm, thousands of homes were without power and there was serious flooding in coastal areas. If you live in an area that experiences frigid winters, it’s crucial to know how to survive if you’re stuck at home during a blizzard or winter ice. These five tips can make a snowstorm an exciting adventure you’ll talk about for years rather than a horror story you spend your life trying to forget. A little planning and preparing can go a very long way to a safe and comfortable snowstorm experience.

Blankets and Clothing

Winter power outages can turn your cozy home into an icebox in a matter of hours. Be sure you have enough warm blankets and clothing for each bed and for each person. Big snowstorms often result in loss of electricity which can make for a serious life-threatening scenario to everyone in the home. Fleece fabric is an ideal material for both clothing and blankets to remain warm at all times. It works well because it holds heat in and keep moisture away from the body.And, if for some reason you have to go outdoors to get wood or to check on a generator, fleece material will trap heat between the material and your body to allow you to remain warmer and for a longer period of time.

Alternative Fuel

You are likely to lose electricity; therefore, you should consider alternative fueling sources for staying warm and for cooking. You might consider using a backup generator, stockpiling wood or investing in portable gas tanks. All of these items can be used in a number of ways during a snowstorm. Do not forget that if you do have a fire to stay warm, you can also use it to cook at the same time. Take extra precautions when heating a home to ensure everyone’s safety.

According to the Unites States Fire Administration, 905 people die every winter from home fires each year. over two million dollars a year are lost in property value to home fires; 67% of these fires occur in one and two-family homes. It is a good idea to have fire extinguishers and carbon monoxide detectors to use alongside alternative fuel sources to ensure everyone remains safe at all times during the day and night. A fire extinguisher should be kept in close proximity to the kitchen and each family member should know how to use it. Emission alarms should be tested monthly.


During a snowstorm, the masses often panic and food supplies and other essentials are often sold out during the days people need them the most. You can prevent this panic situation by preparing in advance and having plenty of food storage in your house. FEMA suggests keeping a supply of at least 3 days worth, however, others recommend anywhere from 1 to 3 weeks. It is not necessary to buy bottled water, however you should fill reusable bottles or even water coolers you use in the summer with tap water to have enough to get you through several days.  The same can be said for food. Be sure to have enough food for each person to last three days. Remember to store canned, dehydrated or dry goods rather than perishable items.


One of the best ways to prepare for winter snowstorms is to ensure you have properly insulated and sealed your home. You should seal all door frames and windowpanes that may have
developed cracks and leaks during the year. You might even seal various windows with plastic wrap to further insulate the house. When a winter storm arrives, your house will remain warm
more easily and for much longer than if you had not sealed and insulated your home properly. This will be particularly essential if you lose electricity and to protect against strong winds.


As mentioned several times, electricity may be in short supply. While you can use battery based radios, televisions and flashlights, it is possibly easier to have solar powered chargers for your electronics and appliances. They are relatively affordable now and you can be sure you remain connected as long as your service providers are still functioning. Solar chargers do not require a significant amount of direct sunlight and can easily be charged in cloudy conditions. Be sure to know the length of time it takes to charge each device and to have enough solar charges on hand to meet all of your needs.

Now that you are armed with these basic life-saving tips to survive a snowstorm, you can embrace the winter without concern. Do not forget to check your food and water supply on a regular basis to ensure everything is replaced in case it is used at some point during the year. Expect the unexpected in a snowstorm and you will be fine.


lee flynn

Check your car for gas, make sure your tires are in good shape, and you should be good to go for the rest of this winter.  Image by Lee Flynn



Author bio – Lee Flynn is a freelance writer from the Wasatch Mountains near Salt Lake City, UT. Through small local workshops and articles, Lee trains and teaches others on home preparation, food storage techniques, wilderness survival and self-reliance. After obtaining a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Utah, Lee moved to the Salt Lake Valley where he now lives with his wife and daughter.
Follow him on Twitter @foodstorage101.

Top image by Jason Lemay