Winter Survival

Winter – 20 Affordable Winter Survival Items to Get Now (How to Survive a Winter Power Outage)

September 25, 2023

Imagine a winter storm hits your area and the utilities are cut.  Water, natural gas, electricity, all gone.  If it’s only out for a few hours, not a problem.  Kick back, enjoy some hot chocolate and kick your feet up next to the fireplace.  But, after a few hours, you begin to notice that the power is not coming back on.  Your phone is almost out of batteries, and the approaching night with record temperatures is about here.  And to make matters worse, the roads are now impassable.  Sure, the first day or two would be rough, but what happens when this stretches into weeks or worse?  Then what?  What items would you want to have on hand to ensure you can make it through?  In this video, I’ll detail the items you can start picking up now that fall into 8 primary categories, some of which you may already have, and a few you probably don’t.  So let’s jump in.

Safety

Fire Extinguisher

  • Even if you don’t start the fire, someone living near you might. When electrical systems fail, and people turn to fire as their main heating and lighting source, the chances of a fire increase exponentially.  
  • Remember, you are your own first responder when the grid is down. 
  • Please invest in one or two of them and don’t get the cheap little fire extinguisher.

Carbon Monoxide Alarm

  • Get Carbon Monoxide alarm with batteries.
  • Usually not the event itself that kills people, it’s the mistakes they make afterwards
    • Running a generator too close to their house
    • Burning things in their homes

FirstAid Kit 

  • This first category of safety is not complete without a first-aid kit. 
  • Apart from all the generic first aid kits you can get nearly anywhere, the one thing I would advise you to add is a tourniquet.  And please do not get one of these on Amazon.  This tourniquet is from North American Rescue.  I’ll provide a link to their site.  I don’t get an affiliate credit for promoting their products.  They’re just recognized in the first aid industry as the tourniquet to get.

//Download the Extreme Weather Survival Guide today. I’ll post a link in the description and comment section below, or visit cityprepping.com/weather for a free guide to help you set up your preps to survive even the worst weather events.//

Warmth

Sleeping Bags

  • Remember, the rating temperature is not for comfort, but what it’s rated for.
  • Also, do not sleep directly on the floor with these.  Put a blanket or a sleeping pad underneath it.
  • Note from subscriber: One suggestion for a future related video:  how best to dress for sleeping inside a sleeping bag…too often people put on so much clothing that they prevent body heat from reaching and warming the sleeping bag itself – so no coccooning benefit and bag becomes very cold and unhelpful.
  • It’s often more effective to wear just one or two light to midweight base layers—that are highly breathable, so as to allow your core’s heat to disperse throughout the bag.

Wool Blankets 

  • There’s a reason why they continue to make wool blankets. It’s because nothing can beat them. Wool blankets offer natural insulation, moisture-wicking properties, temperature regulation, durability, hypoallergenic and odor-resistant qualities, biodegradability, and versatility, making them an excellent choice for various purposes, although they may be relatively more expensive. They’re portable, and you should have one in your vehicle and more than one in your home.

Electric Blanket or Pad

  • Keeping your core and extremity temperatures even a few degrees warmer will give you a serious boost.
  • They don’t draw a lot of power compared to something like a space heater.
  • We’ll discuss powering it momentarily

Hand warmers

  • Electrical and rechargeable
  • Foot warmers

Hot Water Bottle/Bladder/Soda bottles

  • Sleeping with one ensures a cozy night’s rest, even in freezing temperatures. 
  • Put a sock over a hot water bottle so you don’t burn yourself

Your pet

  • have your pets sleep with you

Clothing 

Clothes

  • Avoid sweating…if you’re sweating, you’ll get your clothes wet which will only wick away warmth from your body.
  • Layer clothing
  • Liners (top and bottom)
  • Pants
  • Fleece
  • Outer layer (wind/rain)
  • Socks
  • Beanie 
  • Gloves
  • Jacket
  • Electrical clothing (I don’t keep b/c it doesn’t get that cold in my area)

Boots

  • Having wet weather or boots 
  • Now would be a good time to water proof them in order to get ready for the rain season ahead.

Shelter

Tent 

  • Even a basic tent can create a microclimate, offering crucial protection against harsh conditions and providing a safe, warm, and sheltered space within. It helps maintain a controlled environment, allowing you to stay comfortable and safe in frigid or adverse conditions.

Painter’s Plastic Drop or Tarp and Duct Tape 

  • If you need to control the flow of hot and cold air quickly, you can easily achieve this with plastic sheeting, a tarp, and duct tape. Seal off windows, unused rooms, or even create a makeshift tent. Remember to allow for ventilation to ensure you have breathable air. Make sure to have these items in your home supplies, vehicle, and emergency bags.
  • Tarps can be useful for leaks as well

Bubble Wrap/Aluminum Bubble Wrap

  • Use bubble wrap or aluminum bubble wrap to quickly insulate your home by taping it to windows, creating a reflective vapor barrier. Gotten a lot of feedback from my community that these are useful to put on windows in their apartments or vehicles to either keep heat out or warmth inside their vehicle.

Tools

Propane Tank and Portable Heater

  • If you anticipate being in a prolonged deep freeze, consider investing in a spare propane tank and a tank top or portable heater. Running it intermittently for short periods will effectively keep you warm, even in freezing conditions.  If connecting to a large tank, be sure to get a filter.  

Camping Stove

  • Be careful with these as they release Carbon Monoxide
  • DO NOT cook indoors with a charcoal grill
  • Ideally cook outside
  • If you do cook inside:
    • Cook on stove top
    • Have CO alarm nearby
    • Have fire extinguisher nearby
    • If you get a headache or light headed, get fresh air: Carbon Monoxide poisoning is possible

Fire Starters 

  • Don’t overcomplicate this one. You will need a reliable ignition source to get a fire started. If you’ve never used a Ferro Rod, Magnesium Starter, or Fire Piston, when it’s freezing cold and your hands are shaking, it isn’t the time to learn. Instead, set aside some reliable ignition sources like bic lighters, stormproof matches, arc lighters, or permanent matches. These will be far easier for you to use. 

Emergency Radio 

  • An emergency radio is essential for receiving updates when communication lines may be down. Knowing what you are facing and where you might find safe shelter or when you should absolutely find shelter is critical to survival.
  • Ideally have a hand crank

Power

  • Batteries
  • I have mostly moved to rechargeable items to avoid needing a lot of batteries on hand
  • Hand crank radio
  • Small solar panel + small battery
  • Solar generator
  • Gas generator

Food and Water

Water containers

  • Must assume water will NOT be running
  • 5 gallon containers
  • Keep water in your “warm” area: they will retain heat
  • Hot beverages to heat you up…hot cocoa for calories you’ll be exerting

Food

  • Freeze-dried, emergency, nutrient bars, and other shelf-stable canned food
  • Easy to cook and make without a lot of cooking and cleaning – Having a variety of food sources with a super long shelf life means you have calories to get you through the first critical hours or days after a disaster. Without calories, your body lacks what it needs to maintain a healthy core temperature.

Wet Wipes 

  • While we’re on the subject of eating and drinking, getting personal hygiene squared away would be important. Wet wipes provide a convenient and efficient way to maintain personal hygiene during cold weather emergencies, helping prevent illness and discomfort. Their ease of use and ability to clean without water makes them invaluable when you’re trapped and unable to access traditional washing facilities.

Lighting

LED Headlamps and flashlights 

  • LED lighting gives you an advantage over other battery or kerosene lighting options. They’re brighter, use fewer resources, and are rechargeable.  Solar lights you can put in your yard during the day to charge.

Lantern

  • In the past I recommended candles, but hesitant as adding a layer for problems with potential fire.
  • A propane lantern can really light up a room

Check out this next video here on the screen that will help you understand how to implement all the items we just covered in this video.

If have any thoughts or feedback, post below.

 

As always, stay safe out there.

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