Even if you are used to the colder weather we have been having lately, ahem Polar Vortex, it is still important for everyone in those northern states to have a proper winter checklist to help ensure they are prepared for a snowstorm. There are several steps to preparing for a snowstorm, and we have a handy checklist to help you ensure that you have everything you need. The last thing anyone wants is to run out of an essential item in the middle of a snowstorm with two days left that you are trapped inside.

Preparing for a snowstorm is quite like preparing for any natural disaster, and just ensuring that you are ready for the worst case scenario that is possible.

  • Create an emergency kit:Accidents happen, especially in snowy conditions, and even something as simple as walking on the porch can become dangerous thanks to ice, so make sure to have an emergency kit at the house in case of scrapes or cuts.
  • Clean your chimney: This should be done before the winter season, so if you missed it this winter, make a note for the next winter.
  • Have a battery operated radio:Everyone should have one of these, no matter where you live. Every state is known for some form of bad weather disaster, and this radio can help you to stay up to date on any weather changes or emergencies, even if power is lost.
  • Have a battery stash:You may need batteries for the radio, lighting, and more, so make sure you are set with a stash of extra batteries.
  • Stock up on blankets:If you lose power, you'll lose heating, so you'll need plenty of blankets to pile on to help keep you warm. These can also be hung up in front of doors and windows in case of drafts that you didn't know about before the storm hits.
  • Buy cat litter:You'll want this to help you be able to leave your house after the storm, without slipping and sliding around.
  • Stock up on non-perishable foods:Same with any emergency, be prepared for several days without electricity. Hopefully, you'll have power during the storm, but just in case, having a stockpile of food is good, especially if the snow is heavier than predicted.
  • Bring your pets and plants inside:If you have livestock or outdoor animals that can't be brought inside, make sure they have blankets and plenty of straw, food, and water to keep them safe and warm. Bring them inside their shelter, and lock them in tightly, to help protect them from the elements. If you have cats or dogs that are usually outdoors, bring them inside.
  • Gather extra firewood:Just in case, you're going to want plenty of firewood to keep that fire going for days. So make sure you have enough firewood cut up, and stored in a dry area, so it will work easily.
  • MatchesCheck to make sure you have plenty of matches to start the fire, otherwise, you will have to resort to survival skills to get a fire lit.
  • Insulate your pipes: No one wants freezing pipes, and the best way is to insulate them with newspapers or even towels to help keep them from freezing and bursting.
  • Have plenty of bottled water: If your pipes freeze or a water line gets damaged, you may need safe drinking water. Staying hydrated is a great way to help keep yourself warm, so you'll need to make sure you have enough water to last several days.
  • Winterize your vehicle: Make sure there is gas in your vehicle, and it is ready to go with the proper tires. While you will want to limit any traveling, in case of emergency, you may have to go out in the storm, so you need to be prepared to leave immediately.

All of these suggestions for preparing for a snowstorm should help you to stay safe, and warm in the event of a bad storm. Of course, if you have a generator, mind all warnings and be careful about carbon monoxide poisoning.