Surviving a cold weather disaster: When the blizzard strikes you won’t die

Surviving a cold weather disaster: When the blizzard strikes you won’t die

Surviving a disaster, such as a hurricane or blizzard is dependent upon a lot of different things. First off, you have weather to contend with. How will you handle the kind of weather that you will experience?

This is one of the first questions that need to be answered. Why? Because this determines what type of supplies you will need, and how you will acquire them.

If you are smack dab in the middle of a blizzard and you lose power, what do you do? There was a period of time last year where we lost power for about a week. Some towns in my area lost power for over 10 days.

People were cold.


And, if you could imagine this, people actually lost a lot of food. How does your food spoil in the middle, or aftermath, of a blizzard?

Because they don’t know any better.

How is it that you are completely surrounded by frozen stuff, and losing your milk, OJ, ground beef and everything else that was lost?

Obviously, you can’t save everything. But, people were losing everything. It may take some work, but if you go bring your food and stick it in the snow, it will keep for a long time.

Better yet, bring your cooler outside and fill it with snow and then put all of your food in it. This works best with the stuff in the fridge. The frozen stuff is better off in the freezer because it can stay frozen for several days depending on how much is in there.

You need food–which you have, hopefully outside staying cold in a cooler filled with snow. But, how do you cook it? I am a firm believer that a propane grill is one of your best assets. Why? Because you can cook year round with one.

Ideally, you won’t want to be outside cooking in the middle of a blizzard. But this is called survival–not a party. So, get your butt outside and cook. You should always have at lease one extra tank of propane ready to go.


You also need water. You may be amazed to realize that there is also plenty of this outside–should you run out. You will likely be fine with water unless you have a well (which requires electricity to run).

Ideally, to be prepared for a disaster, you should have several gallons of water on hand for the worst case scenario. This should be clean drinking water that will be used for consumption only.

If you don’t have this water already handy, don’t fret because like I said, you are surrounded by water in its frozen form.

Please note, it is not good to consume massive amounts of snow. Eating snow is bad because it can drop your core temperature too fast. This is especially dangerous if you don’t have heat (more on this in a minute).

So, what you’ll want to do, is stick some snow in a stock pot and melt it before you eat it. Technically speaking, the water should be fine to drink after it is melted (unless it’s been on the ground for a while). But, I don’t stop there, and neither should you. You should always boil water before consumption, unless it comes from your tap or an unopened bottle. Boiling it for several minutes should remove any bacteria that the snow may have.


Obviously, if you don’t have power, you won’t have any heat. This is the most important aspect of surviving in a cold weather disaster. The reason for this is because people tend to already have food and water. They’ve usually got that part of survival down. For the most part anyway.

Besides, after the storm is over, the local McDonald’s is just down the road. So, you can still eat without power, if you’re willing to go get your food.

The hard part–is staying warm. I’m going to pretend for a minute that you don’t have a fireplace or wood burning stove–though that would be ideal. Let me go off on a tangent for a minute:

We don’t use our heat in the winter. We have oil, and it would cost us about $300 each and every month. Baloney.

We also have a stove insert for our fireplace that keeps the downstairs at an uncomfortable 82 degrees and the upstairs at a fine 67 degrees.

That is warm enough for everyone to be comfortable. It gets a bit colder at night, but we have blankets and they work just fine.

Anyway, staying warm can be difficult. But, it is possible if you know what you’re doing. Like I said earlier, last year, we lost power for several days. It got cold. My kids were freezing. We didn’t have a fireplace yet, and it was beginning to dip into the low 50’s inside the house.

That’s brisk, baby! I ran down to the basement to get our sleeping bags, and I remembered something I’d forgotten when I got down there. About halfway down the 12 steps, the temperature rose a few degrees. House basements stay (almost) the same temperature year round. It was actually about 57 degrees down there, as opposed to 53 or so upstairs! So, we moved ourselves down there for bit. I suggest that you don’t ever sleep on the concrete floor though. Concrete tends to pull the heat out of things.

Ideally, though, you should have another way of heating yourself up. Get creative. If you have a propane or natural gas stove, with electric heat, you’re not totally up a creek. You can still do wonders with your stove. That’s how my house was growing up. My parents always resorted to the stove. It provided some warmth–which is better than none.

So to recap, you need food, water and a place to stay warm. You likely have the first two already. Staying warm is always the trick in the cold weather. But, if you get creative, you’ll find that there are ways to make it out of a cold weather disaster just fine.

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