For the better part of the winter, the East Coast has been getting hammered with record snowfall amounts. And now, the Midwest gets its turn at bat. A storm that some are predicting will be one of the biggest ever is descending on Chicago and other, less important cities. Some estimates put the expected snowfall at up to 18 inches with nearly impossible travel conditions.
While spending a few days snowed in may not seem like a bad thing to the workers of the world who might be lucky enough to have their workplace shut down for a day or two, being snowbound isn’t without its risks. It’s easy to forget that cold weather can leave you without heat, water or any feasible means to travel out and get food. What good is a snow day if it ends in you being an icy corpse, you know?
Here are five essential purchases for surviving a winter snowpocalypse…
Sengoku CV-2230 Portable Kerosene Heater
When the all the Winter storm hell really breaks loose, don’t be surprised if your electricity goes out. Unfortunately, the people in charge of fixing things when that happens are immersed in the same snow and ice ridden mess that you are, so the chances of them getting to you in any sort of timely manner are slim to none. Unless you’re lucky enough to have a wood burning stove or a fireplace in your home, both of which require a chimney system, chances are no electricity means no heat for you. How’s that snow day sounding now?
But it doesn’t have to be a problem as long as you’re prepared for it. If you know a storm is coming or if you live in an area where the likelihood always exists, do yourself a favor and pick up a kerosene heater. The Sengoku CV-2230 is battery operated, so it’s perfect for emergency situations. Keep one handy (along with plenty of kerosene to fuel it, duh) and you can focus on all of the other problems that a power outage presents, like a complete lack of Xbox connectivity, in relative warmth and comfort.
And speaking of kerosene heaters and a lack of electricity…
Lots of Extra Batteries
Take stock of all the things that contribute to your life of leisure and make note of the stuff that can run on batteries. If you don’t have electricity, you can’t charge your cellphone. If you can’t charge your cellphone, you can’t call for help. If you can’t call for help, it’s way harder to avoid a frigid death. So an extra cellphone battery or two isn’t a horrible idea.
An extra laptop battery might be a good idea also. If your only internet connection is via a wireless router, it won’t serve much purpose. But if you have a broadband card that’s connected to a network that somehow manages to withstand the Snowmageddon, you’ll at least be able to get online to stay connected to the outside world. And by “stay connected to the outside world” we of course mean “look at porn.”
Aside from that, a nice selection of standard batteries is a must. You’ll probably want some functioning flashlights when the power goes down. That’s not going to happen without batteries, people.
Hey, you know what’s embarrassing? Dying of dehydration when surrounded by mountains of frozen water. It literally should not happen even if you’re unprepared, but who knows what kind of nastiness is waiting for you in that pile of snow you may resort to melting with a cigarette lighter (oh yeah, buy some lighters). Trading dehydration for dysentery is hardly a win.
Instead, keep a lot of bottled water around. The pros suggest five gallons for each person in your home. If that’s outside your budget, a stock of tap water will do the trick also. But how fucking gross is that? You might as well be drinking straight from the river.
Food You Don’t Have to Cook
Did we just use a picture of Chef Boyardee Beefaroni as an example of food you don’t have to cook? You bet your shivering cold ass we did. Hell, this slop is almost better if you don’t heat it up, because it removes the humiliation of knowing you expended physical effort in preparing it right out of the equation. Oh, and if you ask how you’re supposed to open the can if you don’t have electricity…kill yourself.
If mushy “Italian” food isn’t your bag, maybe opt for canned fruits and vegetables, tuna, crackers or anything else that will stave off death by starvation while also not blessing you with a slimming tape worm should you consume it without the benefit of an open flame.
A First Aid Kit
We almost left this off the list for the same reason we did leave blankets off the list…you should already have it. We assume most of you do have at least a few blankets lying around, even if you live in a relatively warm climate, there’s always the possibility that a scantily clad movie killer escapee will come pounding on your door someday seeking shelter and protection. You’d just look like a perv wrapping her up in a bath towel or something.
But we’re less certain about the first aid kit. Don’t wait for an emergency to arise to have one on hand. Even if the Storm of the Century isn’t bearing down on your place of residence, get it handled now anyway. You never know when you’ll need it.