I think bears have the right idea. Eat incredibly large amounts of food and then sleep the winter away. They don’t care how much snow falls or if there is a nasty winter storm threatening to immobolize the area.
Here at home, in northwest Ohio we are supposed to get 6-10 inches of snow today. Some places could even get 12+! On top of it we are supposed to have horrid 40-50 mph winds. And then, if that wasn’t quite enough winter for you when the snow ends the temperatures are going to plummet to around -20°F.
Weather like this always makes me think “what would happen if…”. What if we get snowed in? Do we have enough food? What if the pipes burst? What if the power goes out? How will we stay warm? Light? Cooking? Bathing? Communication? So many things to consider…
If you live in an apartment like my family does then some things are out of the question. You can’t build a fire to cook, and you most likely can’t have a generator either. You should never ever run a generator inside your home because it generates CO2 which is dangerous stuff. So how do you heat your home and cook food? There are various types of portable heaters that are approved for indoor use. The most common of these will burn either propane or kerosene. And even though the heater might be approved for indoor use I would always recommend having a CO2 monitor with fresh batteries close at hand. If the top of the heater gets very warm then you could in theory use it to cook food as well. Otherwise you would be best served to cook food outside in your grill, or even on a camping stove.
Most people don’t think about these things when the weather is pleasant. When the gloom and doom forecasts start to roll in the stores get busy and their shelves get empty. The news channels had multitudes of pictures from viewers showing store shelves with no bread, milk, cheese, and meat. The thing I find funny is that those are all perishables. If you lose power you have 4 hours to cook or toss that meat if you cant keep it cold. Milk and cheese will go bad almost as quickly in the right conditions.
It would be best to have an emergency supply on hand of non-perishable dry storage foods. High protien foods like nuts, beans, canned meats (tuna, chicken, etc), and peanut butter are great in situations where cooking might not be possible. Make sure you have a can opener! Crackers can easily replace breads, and substitute canned fruits and vegetables for fresh ones. Milk is more difficult but you could always use powdered milk even if you don’t love the flavor. Snacks like granola bars, pretzels, and pudding cups keep the kids happy. Most importantly make sure you have fresh water. It doesnt have to be fancy bottled store variety, you could just fill up old milk jugs and 2 liters.
There are many more things you need to have on hand in case of an emergency, but if your emergency happens at home you will likely have them already. Flashlights, batteries, first aid, hand sanitizer, toilet paper, pet care supplies (including extra water), baby items such as diaper supplies and formula, blankets, extra clothes, entertainment, and more.
There are many resources with more comprehensive lists online already on websites like fema.gov or redcross.com. Do some research and then get yourself ready for whatever type of emergency is most likely to happen in your area so you dont have to “What if…” when it’s mostly likely already too late to prepare.