- A minimum of three days worth of non-perishable foods that don’t need to be cooked or prepared (things like canned vegetables, dried fruits, and jerky)
- A minimum of five gallons of water for each person in the household
- Any medication that’s medically necessary
- A heat source that doesn’t require electricity (examples include wood stoves, kerosene heaters, and propane heaters)
- Fuel for your non-electric heat source
- Electric heaters
- FIre extinguisher
- Battery-powered radio
- Non-electric can opener
- List of important phone numbers (in case you lose power and your cell phone dies)
- Snow shovel
- Rock salt
- Any special needs, including things like hearing aid batteries, blood-glucose measuring devices, or a cane
If children live in the house, be sure to include specialty items you may need – like diapers, baby formula, and baby food. For older children, make sure to include a few board games, a deck of cards, and a book or two to entertain them and keep them from going stir crazy.
When the extreme cold arrives, your primary heat source may not be enough to keep your home warm, especially if strong winds are present. If you must use secondary heat sources, be sure to follow all safety precautions.
Heaters that use fuel, such as kerosene and propane, may require ventilation to allow gas byproducts to escape. With electric space heaters, ensure they’re at least three feet away from furniture, curtains, and blankets, which become fire hazards.
Do not heat your home with the oven or stove, a grill, or any gas-powered outdoor heater.
When it comes to frostbite, the affected extremities often hurt and turn red. As the condition progresses, their coloring turns white or greyish yellow and the area in question becomes numb. The skin begins to feel firm or waxy.
As soon as the signs of frostbite appear, check for hypothermia immediately, as it’s more life-threatening and needs to be addressed first.
If frostbite has affected the toes, try not to walk on them, as it could create more damage. Bring the person into a warm room and submerge the damaged area in warm, not hot, water. Use body heat to warm the cold tissue by placing the cold extremities between the thighs or under the arm.
Overall, common sense will be key to getting through this weekend. Check on your neighbors, especially if they are elderly as they have a very difficult time with these temperatures.