It’s hard to believe it’s already been a month since ‘snovid.’ The extreme cold, power failures, and water outages are almost a distant memory now. If someone told me that San Antonio could reach lower temperatures than Alaska, I would have laughed a year ago. But sure enough, it did…
We spent more than 100 hours under freezing temperatures, plummeting to 9 degrees on Monday February 15th. With rolling power outages, the snow was only pretty for so long. My family was eventually too afraid to go outside—it was in the low 40s in our house and we didn’t know how hard it would be to warm back up.
We are blessed to say we survived, and our beloved Alamo City is now back to normal (at least normal for 2021). Since then, I’ve been taking time to reflect and plan for how we can better prepare for an emergency like this in the future. Here are some ways my own family is preparing, along with ideas from other San Antonio families.
3 Things We Got Right After the Winter Storms
I knew we had at least one small flashlight that I used to play with the kids, but I had no idea where I left if. During the winter storm, we ended up using a small battery lamp that the kids had. Now we have some good battery-operated flashlights for everyone.
I’ve promised myself that I will always have at least one extra package of bottled of water.
Having at least some cash on hand will be a habit for me now—some businesses could only accept cash with no electricity.
6 Things We Plan to Stock Up On
I know battery backups and surge protectors were a lifesaver for some families during the winter storm. With this, they were able to charge their phones, and even plug in their computers and internet modems.
Baby wipes were a lot of help, but next time I’ll be sure to have some bathing wipes for the days when it’s impossible to shower.
My hands are always cold, and I have seen many moms recommend having hand warmers during winter. I imagine they would have helped a lot during the winter storm.
Are there ever enough?
Always a good idea to have as well.
Stocking up on food
I will make sure the pantry always has the dry goods and canned food we use the most.
Other Recommendations from Local Moms
Many of us would have loved to have a generator, and for those with medical conditions, this became a necessity. Having an emergency generator (big or small), will enable you to keep different appliances running.
A portable solar generator
The solar-powered generators are also one of the things some moms have recommended. They may not always work as well as traditional generators, but they’re a good emergency backup.
Battery powered light bulbs
You can easily fins battery-operated or rechargeable light bulbs online.
Use your bathtub to store emergency drinking water
When I realized our water was running out, I tried to save some in the bathtub, but bathtub doesn’t seal properly. Someone online recommended the AquaPod and it seems like a smart investment for these kind of situations.
LifeStraw / water straws
I didn’t know these existed but according to what I’ve read, they allow you to have clean drinking water and filter out any dirt, bacteria, or parasites.
Water purification germicidal tablets
Also helps purifies water for drinking.
Plumbing supplies to fix broken pipes
For those who are handy and can watch a YouTube tutorial to fix frozen pipes, it’s a good idea to have some basic tools and supplies on hand.
Manual can opener
We can have a lot of canned food but without a manual can opener, you won’t be able to open them!
Many of us were craving warm food during the storm. There are electric indoor grills that will work if we have a way to power them, and there are also some gas options.
I imagine they would have also been helpful to cook food with no power.
We stayed by the chimney a lot of time, but I know not all houses have one. I’ve seen some families planning to install one.
The easiest way to light up a dark house without power.
Things to Have on Hand for Kids
This obviously depends on your children’s ages and preferences, but some things work wonders at just about any age. For my 3- and 6-year-olds, I’m planning to always have coloring books, Play-Doh, and family games on hand.
Also, let’s not forget about winter gear. I’m sure many of us would have loved to have waterproof snow gloves for our kids.
Things to Put in an Emergency Backpack
Lastly, if you’re planning to prep an emergency backpack, here are some things to include:
- Non-perishable food
- First aid kit
- Face masks
- Hand sanitizer
- Garbage bags
- Emergency blanket
- Bug spray
- Extra clothes
- Wet wipes
- Tape and scissors
- Toilet paper
If you have any other ideas to prepare for another emergency or ‘snowpocalypse’ or, feel free to tell us in the comments.