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Forget the Milk…Grab the Batteries

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Every time snow is forecast — whether it’s two inches or two feet — it seems like people crowd into the grocery stores and clean the place out of milk and bread. And, while milk and bread are great things to have, here are a five items that are really important to have handy in the event of a storm:

1. Water — Make sure you have several gallons of fresh water handy — at least three gallons for every member of your family. You can buy prepackaged bottled water at the store, or just fill up old milk bottles.

2. Batteries — You already have several flashlights and a battery-powered radio on-hand in case of an emergency (right?!), but do you have enough batteries to keep them all going? It’s a good idea to keep several extra packs, in a variety of sizes, ready to go when the old ones die. And keep them in an accessible place. Batteries that are lost in some closet somewhere won’t do you any good. Keep at least one extra cell phone battery charged up a ready to go, too, so you can communicate with the outside world.

3. Canned foods (and a manual can opener) — If you lose power for several days, you might lose all of the perishable food in you refrigerator. Canned goods, including fruit, vegetables, and canned pastas, keep pretty much forever, and many of them can be eaten cold in a pinch.

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4. Medicine — Make sure you have a few extra days’ supply of any prescription medications you regularly take, as well as bandages, burn cream, pain reliever, and other common household first aid supplies.

5. Toilet paper (and deodorant, and toothpaste) — Things can get pretty unpleasant pretty quickly in your house without these daily comforts.

Honorable mention: Books, magazines, board games, cards, art supplies and other low-tech diversions to keep you entertained.

Obviously, there are lots of other important things to have on-hand — tools, blankets, warm clothes, etc. — but stocking up on these easy items can make a big storm feel more like a  mini-vacation than an emergency.

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1 DCinVT { 02.08.13 at 1:41 pm }

There is a need to stock water at my house…..I like to be able to flush the toilet when the power goes out. So filling the tub up is no big deal. I also like to fill a few bottles of water for drinking, not everyone is on city water & sewer.

2 Anne Mecyzwor { 02.08.13 at 12:54 pm }

Great list for summer, but in the winter, there is no need for food to spoil or to stock water. In a snowstorm, use what you’ve got…SNOW! For personal hygiene, lay in a supply of baby wipes. PET FOOD, however, is a critical item. I have to wonder at all the folks stocking up on frozen pizza at the supermarket, though. Exactly how do they plan to store/cook it in a power outage? Hm…come to think of it, pizza cooked on a low gas grill IS delicious. Better go refill the gas tank!!!

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