What to put in your winter weather safety kit


Whether we like it or not, winter weather is inevitable in many areas of the country.


When a winter storm hits, you and your family may need to remain indoors for several days. A winter weather safety kit is an essential element in preparing yourself, your family and your property for a winter storm.

The contents of a winter weather safety kit should be placed into easily accessible storage bins that are transportable. Also consider keeping an emergency kit in your car for times when you may get stranded in bad weather.

  • enough water to last every member of your family at least three days (one gallon per person per day)
  • a three-day supply of dried goods, canned goods, energy bars and other foodstuffs that do not require cooking for each person (don’t forget your pets!)
  • first aid materials, including prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, eye wash kit, bandages, latex gloves and rubbing alcohol; the Red Cross has additional suggestions for items to keep in your first aid kit
  • gasoline or diesel fuel to operate a generator or portable heating device (Be sure to follow your owner’s manual for safe operating guidelines and proper fuel use, and remember to store fuel safely to avoid risks from fire or fumes.)
  • flashlights and extra batteries
  • battery- or crank-operated radio to listen to weather updates and notifications; find National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) station listings near you
  • blankets and extra clothing to avoid frostbite and hypothermia
  • flashlights and extra batteries
  • salt or sand to help prevent falls when moving about outside
  • snow shovels

Create an emergency plan, and train all employees on procedures.

  • consider stocking blankets and urging employees to keep extra clothing to avoid frostbite and hypothermia if there is a chance they could be stranded for a period of time
  • flashlights and extra batteries
  • a first aid kit
  • salt or sand to help prevent falls when moving about outside
  • snow shovels
  • items on the Small Business Administration’s checklist for businesses

The Department of Homeland Security also offers tips for winter emergencies, including a checklist to help you decide whether it is safe to travel.

More information:

Prep your car for travel in winter weather

Snow can be hazardous to your health

Never too early to prepare for that blizzard

Lights out: Preparing for extended power outages


This loss control information is advisory only. The author assumes no responsibility for management or control of loss control activities. Not all exposures are identified in this article. Contact your local, independent insurance agent for advice on coverages to help you cope with financial loss from a winter weather event.

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