When the winter winds start to blow and the snow begins to fall, it’s important to be prepared for a power outage. But you may be wondering, do you need different supplies for a winter power outage compared to other seasons? The answer is yes, you do! While some supplies may be useful in any power outage, there are specific items that are essential for surviving the cold temperatures and additional challenges that winter brings. So, gather up your blankets and candles, because we’re about to dive into the must-have supplies for a winter power outage.

Food and Water

Non-perishable food

During a winter power outage, it is essential to have a supply of non-perishable food on hand. These types of food items do not require refrigeration and can be easily stored for long periods. Examples of non-perishable foods include canned goods, dried fruits, nuts, and granola bars. It is important to choose foods that are nutritious and can provide you with enough energy during the outage. Stocking up on these items before the winter season ensures that you have enough food to sustain you and your family until power is restored.

Bottled water

Having an adequate supply of bottled water is crucial during a winter power outage. In situations where the water supply may be affected by the power outage, having bottled water ensures that you have access to clean drinking water. Make sure to store enough water for drinking and other essential needs, such as cooking and personal hygiene. A general rule of thumb is to have at least one gallon of water per person, per day. It’s better to be prepared and have extra water on hand.

Baby formula and food

If you have a baby, it is vital to stock up on an ample supply of baby formula and food. Babies have specific nutritional needs, and having the necessary supplies ensures that their needs are met even during a power outage. Make sure to check the expiration dates on these items regularly and rotate them out to ensure freshness. Additionally, it is also advisable to have feeding bottles, nipples, and other essential baby supplies readily available.

Pet food and supplies

Don’t forget about your furry friends during a winter power outage! Stocking up on an adequate supply of pet food and supplies is essential to keep your pets healthy and well-fed. Just like humans, animals require food and water to survive. It is recommended to have at least a week’s worth of pet food stored along with any necessary medications or supplements your pets may need. Remember to store these items in a cool and dry place to maintain their quality.

Heating and Lighting

Emergency blankets

During a power outage, staying warm becomes a top priority, especially during the chilly winter months. Emergency blankets are designed to help retain body heat and keep you warm in low-temperature situations. These blankets are lightweight, easy to store, and highly effective at trapping heat. Having a few emergency blankets on hand can provide you with additional insulation and help prevent hypothermia in case of prolonged power outages.

Portable heaters

Investing in a portable heater is a wise choice for winter preparedness. These heaters are designed to provide heat in small spaces and can be a lifesaver during a power outage. They come in various sizes and types, with options such as electric, propane, or battery-powered heaters. It is important to ensure that you follow all safety instructions when using portable heaters, such as keeping them away from flammable materials and never leaving them unattended.

Flashlights and extra batteries

When the power goes out, having a reliable light source is crucial. Flashlights are an essential tool for providing illumination in the dark. It is important to have several flashlights readily available along with a stock of extra batteries. LED flashlights are recommended as they are energy-efficient and provide long-lasting illumination. Keep the flashlights in easily accessible locations so that they can be easily found when needed.


Battery-powered radio

Staying informed during a power outage is essential for your safety and well-being. A battery-powered radio is an invaluable tool that allows you to receive updates and stay connected with the outside world. In emergency situations, such as severe weather events, a battery-powered radio can provide important information about evacuation orders, safety instructions, and updates on power restoration efforts. Make sure to have extra batteries on hand to keep your radio powered throughout the outage.

Portable phone charger

In today’s interconnected world, smartphones have become an essential tool for communication, especially during emergencies. Having a portable phone charger ensures that you can keep your mobile devices charged and stay connected even if the power is out. Portable phone chargers come in various sizes and capacities, allowing you to charge your devices multiple times. It is a good idea to keep your portable phone charger fully charged and ready to use at all times.

Backup power generator

For prolonged power outages, a backup power generator can provide a reliable source of electricity for your home. These generators are typically fueled by gasoline, propane, or natural gas and can power essential appliances and devices. It is important to properly install and maintain your backup power generator, as well as store an adequate supply of fuel if necessary. However, it is essential to follow all safety guidelines and consider professional installation to ensure proper functioning.

Health and Safety

First aid kit

A well-stocked first aid kit is essential for any emergency situation, including winter power outages. It is important to have a comprehensive first aid kit that includes items such as bandages, antiseptics, scissors, tweezers, and other essential medical supplies. Additionally, make sure to regularly check and replenish any expired items in your first aid kit to ensure their effectiveness when needed.

Prescription medications

If you or anyone in your household requires prescription medication, it is crucial to have an adequate supply on hand during a power outage. In case of prolonged outages or difficulties accessing medical facilities, having a stockpile of prescription medications ensures that you or your loved ones can continue their necessary treatments. Consult with your healthcare provider about establishing an emergency supply of prescription medications and any special storage requirements.

Warm clothing and blankets

When the heat is out, staying warm becomes a priority. Having warm clothing and blankets readily available during a winter power outage ensures your comfort and helps prevent hypothermia. Keep a stash of warm clothing, including sweaters, jackets, hats, gloves, and thermal socks, in an easily accessible location. It is also advisable to have extra blankets or sleeping bags to provide additional insulation during the night.

Carbon monoxide detector

During a power outage, alternative heat sources, such as portable heaters or generators, may be used to keep warm. However, these heat sources can produce carbon monoxide, a colorless and odorless gas that can be deadly if inhaled in high concentrations. Installing a carbon monoxide detector in your home is essential to monitor for any dangerous levels of this gas. Place the detectors near sleeping areas and make sure to test them regularly to ensure their proper functioning.


Books or magazines

A power outage can provide an excellent opportunity to catch up on your reading. Having a selection of books or magazines on hand ensures that you have a source of entertainment that doesn’t rely on electricity. Choose books or magazines that you’ve been meaning to read or explore different genres to keep yourself engaged and entertained during the outage.

Board games

Board games are a fantastic way to bond with family or friends during a power outage. They provide an interactive and engaging activity that requires no electricity. Dust off your favorite board games or explore new ones to keep everyone entertained and create lasting memories.

Playing cards

Playing cards are a classic form of entertainment that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. They are portable and require no electricity, making them a perfect choice for a power outage. There are countless card games to choose from, whether it’s a game of poker, solitaire, or Go Fish. Keep a deck of cards in your emergency kit to ensure you have an enjoyable and easy-to-access form of entertainment.

Portable chargers for electronic devices

While it is important to disconnect from electronic devices during a power outage, having portable chargers can provide a way to keep your devices charged for essential communication or emergencies. These chargers can be pre-charged and are useful for short-term needs. However, it is still important to conserve your battery power and use electronic devices sparingly to preserve their energy.

Snow and Ice Removal

Snow shovel

During the winter season, it is essential to have a snow shovel on hand for snow and ice removal. Whether it’s clearing your driveway, walkways, or paths, a snow shovel allows you to maintain accessibility and prevent slips and falls. Choose a sturdy snow shovel with an ergonomic handle to make the task easier on your back and arms.

Ice melt or salt

To prevent ice build-up and create safer surfaces, it is advisable to have ice melt or salt on hand. These substances help melt ice and provide traction on slippery surfaces. Sprinkle ice melt or salt on walkways, driveways, and steps to prevent accidents and facilitate safe passage.

Snow blower or plow

If you live in an area with heavy snowfall, investing in a snow blower or plow can be a game-changer during a winter power outage. These tools are designed to remove large amounts of snow efficiently, saving you time and energy. Depending on your property size and specific needs, choose the appropriate snow blower or plow that suits your requirements. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the operation and maintenance instructions to ensure safe usage.

Vehicle Preparedness

Emergency roadside kit

Having an emergency roadside kit in your vehicle is essential year-round, but it becomes even more crucial during the winter season. Winter weather conditions can be unpredictable, and a breakdown or accident can leave you stranded in cold temperatures. Make sure your emergency roadside kit includes items such as a spare tire, tire jack, jumper cables, reflective warning triangles, and a flashlight. It is also advisable to keep extra blankets and warm clothing in your vehicle during the winter months.

Ice scraper

An ice scraper is a simple but essential tool for clearing ice and frost from your vehicle’s windows and windshield. Keep a high-quality ice scraper in your vehicle to ensure visibility and safe driving during icy conditions. It’s a small investment that can save you time and frustration when facing a winter power outage.

Extra blankets and warm clothing

In case you find yourself stranded in your vehicle during a power outage or winter storm, having extra blankets and warm clothing can provide much-needed comfort and protection against the cold. Store a few blankets and sets of warm clothing in your vehicle’s emergency kit. This ensures that you have the means to keep warm while waiting for assistance or until power is restored.

Backup Power Source

Portable generator

A portable generator can be a valuable asset during a power outage, providing a temporary source of electricity for your essential needs. These generators can power appliances and devices such as refrigerators, heaters, and lights. It is crucial to select a generator that meets your power requirements and to follow all manufacturer’s instructions for safe usage and maintenance. It is advisable to store the generator in a well-ventilated area and away from flammable materials.

Fuel or battery backup

If you have a portable generator, it is essential to have an adequate supply of fuel or batteries to power it. Gasoline, propane, or diesel are commonly used fuels for generators, but the specific fuel type will depend on the generator model. Keep the necessary fuel on hand and store it in approved containers in a safe location. It’s crucial to follow all safety guidelines and regulations when handling and storing fuel.

Winter-Specific Supplies

Extra winter clothing and accessories

Winter power outages can often accompany severe weather conditions, including freezing temperatures. Having extra winter clothing and accessories is crucial to protect yourself and stay warm. Stock up on extra hats, scarves, gloves, thermal socks, and waterproof boots. Layering your clothing can provide added insulation and help retain body heat during cold temperatures.

Snow boots and gloves

Snow boots and gloves are essential winter gear to have on hand, especially if you live in an area with heavy snowfall. Snow boots provide insulation, traction, and protection against wet and cold conditions. Similarly, quality snow gloves or mittens keep your hands warm and dry, preventing frostbite and discomfort. Having proper footwear and gloves ensures your safety and comfort when dealing with snow and ice during a power outage.

Hand and toe warmers

Hand and toe warmers can be a lifesaver during winter power outages, especially if you’re spending prolonged periods of time outdoors. These small heat packets generate heat when exposed to air and provide warmth to your hands and feet. Keep a supply of hand and toe warmers in your emergency kit to ensure you have a quick and effective way to warm up when needed.

Safety Precautions

Keeping windows and doors closed

In a winter power outage, it is important to conserve heat and prevent cold drafts from entering your home. Keep windows and doors closed as much as possible to maintain a warmer indoor temperature. This prevents heat loss and helps your heating sources work more efficiently. It is also advisable to close off unused rooms to limit heat loss and focus the warmth on occupied areas.

Preventing frozen pipes

Frozen pipes can be a significant issue during a winter power outage, leading to expensive repairs and potential water damage. To prevent frozen pipes, you can take a few precautionary measures. Keep the faucets slightly open to allow a small, steady flow of water. This helps prevent water from freezing in the pipes. Additionally, insulate exposed pipes with pipe insulation or heat tape to provide extra protection against freezing temperatures.

Using alternative heat sources safely

When using alternative heat sources, such as portable heaters or fireplaces, it is essential to follow all safety precautions. Keep flammable materials and objects away from heat sources and never leave them unattended. Make sure to properly ventilate the area and maintain a safe distance from any combustible materials. Follow all manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines to ensure safe usage of alternative heat sources.

When preparing for a winter power outage, it is important to consider the specific challenges and needs that winter weather can bring. By following these guidelines and having the necessary supplies on hand, you can ensure your safety, comfort, and well-being during the cold winter months. Remember to regularly check and replenish your emergency supplies to maintain their effectiveness. Stay prepared, stay safe, and stay warm!