What Should You Keep in Your Winter Emergency Survival Kit?

In the event of a winter weather emergency, you need to plan to stay protected from the elements, stay well fed and hydrated and have a way to get help and information if you are stranded. Protect yourself from the elements with an emergency change of warm clothes. It is a good idea to pack layers; a warm base layer of long underwear, middle layers made of wool or synthetic materials and an outer layer that is waterproof and windproof. Don’t forget gloves, socks and hats. Pack a source of heat in order to stay warm and to melt snow for water. Carry matches as a source of fire instead of a disposable lighter that may not function in extreme cold weather. If you have a cell phone, then make sure to have a charger and extra batteries. Road flares and brightly-colored signs or bandanas can mark your location and help searchers find you if you are stranded. Your kit should also include a supply of drinking water and foods that don’t require cooking such as dried fruit, crackers and canned goods. Don’t forget to pack a non-electric can opener if you pack canned goods. Pack a flashlight and extra batteries in case electricity goes out. If you take prescription medications, then make sure to pack a supply. Also consider the needs of any others who may be traveling with you, including infants who may need baby formula or pets taking medications. Pack a basic first aid kit to deal with minor injuries. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend having a week’s worth of emergency supplies and food in your winter emergency survival kit.

All of your winter emergency survival kit supplies should be in a single container for storage; a plastic storage container with a snug lid or a backpack stored in a dry area will work. The container should be able to protect your survival kit from the elements. Put the container in an area where it is easily accessible when you need it. It is a good idea to make an emergency kit for your home and a separate kit for each vehicle. Remember, your winter emergency survival kit will only help you if you have it close by when you need it.

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