We can no longer be in denial - winter has come roaring into Maine. Whether you're a new transplant "from away" or a seasoned Mainer, being prepared for the frigid months ahead will keep you and your family safe from whatever mother natures sends our way!
A big snow storm, or worse - snow and ice - could have you stuck in your home for several days. Instead of becoming one of those night before panic shoppers standing in a long line for bread, make sure you have these items on hand:
For You Home
- Water - at least a 3-day supply; one gallon per person per day
- Food - at least a 3-day supply of non-perishable, easy-to-prepare food
- Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
- Extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Medications (7-day supply) and medical items (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, etc.)
- Multi-purpose tool
- Sanitation and personal hygiene items
- Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
- Cell phone with chargers
- Family and emergency contact information
- Extra cash
- Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
- Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
- Tools/supplies for securing your home
- Sand, rock salt or non-clumping kitty litter to make walkways and steps less slippery
- Warm coats, gloves or mittens, hats, boots and extra blankets and warm clothing for all household members
- Ample alternate heating methods such as fireplaces or wood or coal burning stoves
So, now you've got all of this stuff, you're ready for the worst, only one problem - where the heck do you store it all?! If you own - or plan on building - a PATCO home, you're all set. Every home we build features either a reach-in or walk-in pantry as a standard feature. There's also a convenient rear foyer "Drop Zone" that can handle any seasonal overflow. Talk to our design/build team about all of the things we've added to our home plans to make life a little easier. Build with no regrets!
For Your Car
You should always opt out of travel during a winter storm, but, if you do need to travel somewhere, anticipate the worst. You’re on a snow-covered road, lose control, and end up in a ditch. You're quite a distance out of town … so what should you have in your car to help keep you safe until help arrives?
Here is a list of items to pack the car with before winter weather hits:
- Flares or reflective triangle
- Colored cloth or ribbon (to tie to the antenna)
- Distress sign
- First aid supplies
- Basic tools
- A fully charged cell phone & a charger
- Jumper cables
- Carpet strips, sand or kitty litter for traction
- Ice scraper and brush
- Small shovel
- Nonperishable food / bottles of water (you need to keep up protein & fats to stay warm-trail mix, nuts, granola bars, chocolate, etc. are all good choices)
Maybe you are thinking, “Well, all I really need is a cell phone to call AAA”. Just remember, if severe winter weather has broken out, it may take quite a bit of time for help to arrive and hypothermia becomes a danger. Also, what if you don’t have a signal?
It might not be a bad idea to stick a sleeping bag in the trunk too (might as well).
Enjoy the beauty of Maine this winter. Remember - spring is right around the corner!