Storm prep | Plan ahead, make a kit for winter events

Marietta Modl cooks with propane during power outage in January of 2012. The Snoqualmie resident heated her home with a butane burner, and stayed entertained with an e-reader. - Seth Truscott/Staff Photo
Marietta Modl cooks with propane during power outage in January of 2012. The Snoqualmie resident heated her home with a butane burner, and stayed entertained with an e-reader.
— image credit: Seth Truscott/Staff Photo

Take Winter By Storm, a preparedness organization for Western Washington, urges residents take three important steps to get ready for severe weather.

Step one: Create an emergency preparedness kit with at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food and water for your home and office. Kits prepared for vehicle road travel and winter weather evacuation go-kits are also advised.

Step two: Make a plan and practice the plan with your family and those who depend on you.

Step three: Stay informed and know the weather approaching so you are prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws our way.

The Take Winter By Storm website offers a number of resources. The site includes preparedness checklists, communication plans and emergency contact cards in multiple languages, plus links to forecasts and important roads and transit hotlines.

Share these tips with family, friends, neighbors, and community members to help them get prepared, too.

Get prepared now so you can take winter by storm!

Learn more at

Basic disaster supplies kit

A basic emergency supply kit can include the following recommended items:

• Water—one gallon per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation.

• A three-day supply of non-perishable food

• A battery- or crank-powered radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with a tone alert; extra batteries for both

• Flashlight and extra batteries

• First aid kits

• Whistle to signal for help

• Dust mask to filter contaminated aid

• Plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter in place

• Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation

• Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities

• Can opener for food

• Local maps

• A cell phone with chargers, an inverter or a solar charger.

Additional supplies

Once you have gathered the supplies for a basic emergency kit, you may want to consider adding the following items:

• Prescription medications and glasses

• Infant formula and diapers

• Pet food and extra water for your pet

• Cash or traveler’s checks and change

• Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container. You can use the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (EFFAK) (PDF - 977Kb) developed by Operation Hope, FEMA and Citizen Corps to help you organize your information.

• Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or free information from the Take Winter By Storm website,

• Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate.

• Complete change of clothing including a long-sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate.

• Household chlorine bleach and a medicine dropper. When diluted at a ratio of one part bleach to nine parts water, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.

• Fire extinguisher

• Matches in a waterproof container

• Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items

• Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils

• Paper and pencil

• Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children.

Car auto kit

This includes items necessary to maintain your car in an emergency, or the number of people who can fit in your car if you are stuck.

• Oil

• Transmission fluid

• Windshield wiper fluid

• Gas can

• De-icer

• Flares

• Panty hose, for use as a spare belt

• Spare keys

• Copy of auto insurance documents

• Tent

• Sleeping bag

First aid kit

In any emergency, a family member or you yourself may suffer an injury. If you have these basic first aid supplies you are better prepared to help your loved ones when they are hurt.

Knowing how to treat minor injuries can make a difference in an emergency. You may consider taking a first aid class, but simply having the following things can help you stop bleeding, prevent infection and assist in decontamination:

• Two pairs of latex or other sterile gloves if you are allergic to latex

• Sterile dressings to stop bleeding

• Cleansing agent/soap and antibiotic towelettes

• Antibiotic ointment

• Burn ointment

• Adhesive bandages in a variety of sizes

• Eye wash solution to flush the eyes or as general decontaminant

• Thermometer

• Prescription medications you take every day such as insulin, heart medicine and asthma inhalers. You should periodically rotate medicines to account for expiration dates.

• Prescribed medical supplies such as glucose and blood pressure monitoring equipment and supplies

Non-prescription drugs:

• Aspirin or non-aspirin pain reliever

• Anti-diarrhea medication

• Antacid

• Laxative

Other first aid supplies:

• Scissors

• Tweezers

• Tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricant

Supplies for unique needs

Remember the unique needs of your family members, including growing children, when making your emergency supply kit and family emergency plan.

For Baby:




Powdered milk


Moist towelettes

Diaper rash ointment

For more information about the care and feeding of infants and young children during an emergency, visit the California Dept. of Public Health website.

For Adults:

Denture needs

Contact lenses and supplies

Extra eye glasses

Ask your doctor about storing prescription medications such as heart and high blood pressure medication, insulin and other prescription drugs.

If you live in a cold climate, you must think about warmth. It is possible that you will not have heat. Think about your clothing and bedding supplies. Be sure to include one complete change of clothing and shoes per person, including a jacket or coat, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt.

Source: FEMA


We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

Read the Oct 19
Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Browse the archives.