A powerful nor’easter is on the way, but there’s still time to make preparations before the snow arrives early Saturday morning. The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency put out a checklist of emergency supplies that you should have on hand, and the Duxbury Fire Department also tweeted out a handy list of items that will help you ride out what could be a historic storm. Here are some of the most important things you should do to be prepared.
Food and water to last at least three days: Have enough food and bottled water to last for at least three days (a five day supply is preferred), and remember that each person in your household will need one gallon of water per day. Buy non-perishable foods that don’t need to be cooked, such as ready-to-eat canned goods, protein or granola bars, cereal, peanut butter, dried fruit, nuts, crackers, and baby food. And don’t forget about your pets — they’ll need food and water, too.
Tools and supplies, including a manual can opener: With more than 2 feet of snow expected in some communities, you’ll want to have a snow shovel (or two), ice melt, a radio that doesn’t require electricity (so battery-powered or hand-crank), a manual can opener, flashlights, extra batteries, a charger and backup battery for your cell phone, first-aid kit, and a two-week supply of prescription medications.
Prep your home, inside and out: Clear clogged rain gutters and remove dead or rotting trees and branches around your home that could fall and cause damage. Check to see if your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are working and have fresh batteries. MEMA also recommends you keep copies of insurance policies, bank account records, identification cards (IDs), medical information, and other important documents on hand.
Stay warm: You’ll need warm winter clothes and extra blankets. Make sure your home is properly insulated and you have enough heating fuel. If you have backup heating options such as a fireplace or woodstove, make sure you have waterproof matches, a lighter, and firewood on hand. Heating equipment and chimneys should be cleaned and inspected every year.
Be ready for power outages: Fully charge your cellphone, laptop, and any other electronic devices before the storm begins. Have cash on hand, too, because ATMs may not work if the power’s knocked out.
Prep your vehicle: The snow is expected to come down at a rapid clip on Saturday, and officials have warned it will be treacherous out on the roads, so if at all possible stay home. That said, make sure your car has a full tank of gas. When you’re driving in the winter, you should also have the following items on hand: snow shovel; jumper cables; windshield scraper and brush; extra windshield washer fluid and antifreeze; flashlights and extra batteries; flares or reflectors; brightly colored cloth to use as a flag; sand, road salt, strips of carpet, or kitty litter for traction; tire chains or traction mats; tow rope; cloth or paper towels; fire extinguisher; tool kit; and road maps.
Given how big this weekend’s storm could be, make sure to carry high-calorie non-perishable food and water in your vehicle, along with sleeping bags, and extra clothing, mittens and socks, just in case you get stuck for an extended time. Here’s a handy checklist of all the emergency supplies you’ll need for your vehicle.