How to Stay Safe During a Blizzard: At Home and on the Road


Winter months can bring about picturesque landscapes, but with it come the harsh realities of blizzards and winter storms. These natural phenomena pose serious threats to both your home and your travels. This guide lays out crucial steps to prepare your home for the onslaught of winter weather, ensuring your vehicle’s readiness for harsh driving conditions and what to do if you find yourself stranded.

Knowledge is power, and in this case, it’s also warmth and safety. 

Essential Tips to Prepare Your Home for Blizzards & Winter Storms

When a powerful winter storm is headed your way, the best you can do is prepare and stay safe. Blizzards can keep you in your house for extended periods and often without power, so expecting the worst will help you and your family stay safe.

Below, we provide some tips to prepare. You can find additional information on preparing for winter weather here.

1. Gather Emergency Supplies

Before the storm, ensure you have enough food and water for each person for at least three days and the proper emergency supplies to weather the extreme cold. Choose foods you won’t need electricity to prepare, like granola bars, crackers, canned tuna, or peanut butter sandwiches. Also, stock up on batteries, flashlights, a battery-powered radio, warm blankets, jackets, clothing, a first aid kit, and anything else you might need.

Consider having an emergency generator like the EcoFlow DELTA Pro + 400W Solar Panel (and even add on the DELTA Pro Smart Extra Battery for even more storage capacity) or an alternative heat source like a fireplace or wood stove.

2. Test Your Furnace and Anticipate Power Cuts

Check that your furnace is in good condition. Keep the temperature in your home above freezing to avoid frozen pipes. If you lose power during the storm, close off unused rooms and use blankets or sleeping bags to keep warm.

Part of anticipating power cuts also means pre-charging your most essential devices, like phones, tablets, and computers. You may also want to charge up portable battery chargers or invest in something more substantial like a Whole Home Generator.

3. Tune Into Local and National Weather Resources

Stay informed about changing weather conditions by monitoring local and national weather resources like the National Weather Service and local news stations.

Sign up for emergency alerts through your phone or email to receive updates and evacuation notices in case of severe weather.

4. Prevent Frozen Pipes

To prevent frozen pipes, keep faucets slightly open to let water drip out. Investing in pipe insulation is another good way to keep freezing water in your pipes at bay. You may also want to keep cabinet doors under sinks open to allow warmer air to circulate around the pipes.

5. Check Doors, Windows, and Insulation

Properly winterizing your home will help keep you warm. Ensure all doors and windows in your home are properly sealed to keep cold and warm air out. 

Consider adding weather stripping or plastic film to seal any drafts – you can get this at any hardware store. Check for any cracks or holes in walls or foundations that need filling.

Consider how much insulation you currently have in your home. Is it enough? There’s never really “too much” insulation, so adding more can further decrease the chance of your pipes freezing and help keep temperatures higher inside the house.

6. Get Snow Removal Tools

Having the right tools on hand for removing snow makes all the difference during a blizzard. Make sure you have the necessary tools. Consider tools including a shovel, snowblower, ice scraper, rock salt, or other de-icing agent to keep walkways and driveways clear.

Spend some time tuning up things like your snowblower or snow plow attachments. Keep a few spark plugs and other important parts on hand in case stores close, and consider stocking up on extra oil or gas cans and fuel stabilizers.

How to Winterize Your Car for Winter Storm Safety

Preparing for winter storms isn’t just about your home; preparing your car or RV for the winter weather is also essential. Here are some tips on winterizing your vehicle for a safe driving experience during blizzard conditions – and what to do if you get stranded on the road.

Staying Safe While Driving in Blizzard Conditions

First and foremost, if it’s possible, avoid driving during a blizzard altogether. But if you must go out, here are just a few of the precautions you should take. The National Weather Service provides additional information about precautions to take when driving in a winter storm.

Check the Local Weather Forecast and Road Conditions

Before heading out, check the local weather forecast and road conditions to give you an idea of what to expect and help you plan your route accordingly. You’ll also want to check the weather for your destination and any areas you’ll pass through along the way. The last thing you want is to be stuck in a traffic jam on the road or have to turn around due to an iced-over bridge.

Share Your Plans and Bring a Charged Cell Phone

Make sure to let someone know where you’re going, the route you’re taking, and when you expect to arrive. Also, ensure that you have a fully charged cell phone and a car charger.

Prepare Your Car for Winter Weather

Make sure your car is in good condition before driving in winter weather. Check your tires, brakes, headlights, and windshield wipers. Ensure they’re all working correctly. 

If you live in an area with heavy snowfall, consider investing in winter tires or having tire chains on hand.

Stock Up Your Car’s Emergency Kit

As you would for your home, create a well-stocked emergency kit in your car. This kit should include essentials like a flashlight, batteries, first aid supplies, water, non-perishable snacks, ample blankets or warm clothing, and anything else you might need. For a vehicle, you’ll also want supplies like salt or a shovel to help dig your tires out or even carpet scraps for additional traction.

And, if you’re concerned you may be caught on the road in an RV, one way you can give yourself peace of mind is by investing in an independent power source like the EcoFlow RIVER 2 Max + 160W Solar Panel, or a more permanent solution like EcoFlow’s Power Kits, a great option for RVs and vans.

Pay Attention to Road Conditions and Drive Slowly

If you must drive during a blizzard or winter storm, be extra cautious. Pay attention to the road conditions and adjust your driving accordingly. Slow down, increase your following distance, avoid sudden stops or turns, and more.

Local highway authorities often use road signs to communicate new road closures or hazards coming up, so always keep an eye out for messages that may be important for your journey.

What to Do if You’re Stranded

Despite all precautions, getting stranded during a blizzard is still possible. Here are just a few tips on what to do if you happen to get stuck in your car during a winter storm. The National Weather Service provides additional information on what to do when stuck in a winter storm. 

Call for Help

Call for help using your cell phone or emergency roadside assistance service if possible. Let the appropriate people know where you are. Try to provide any details you can about your car’s location to ensure help arrives as quickly as possible.

Stay Warm

Make sure to stay warm while waiting for help. You can do this by bundling up in extra layers or blankets and huddling with other passengers. Turn on the engine for around 10 minutes every hour, and clear any snow away from your exhaust pipe to avoid gas poisoning.

Don’t Leave Your Car

It may be tempting to leave your vehicle and try to walk toward help, but this isn’t a safe option during a blizzard. Visibility will likely be low, and getting disoriented or lost in these conditions is easy. It’s best to stay put and wait for help to arrive unless help is visible within 100 yards.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are 5 Ways to Prepare for a Blizzard?

Five ways to prepare for a blizzard include (1) gathering emergency supplies, (2) getting a backup power source, (3) listening to local weather news, (4) insulating and tuning up your home to maintain indoor heat and prevent pipe freezing, and (5) preparing your snow removal tools to get to work. Other steps may be necessary to stay safe as well.

How Do I Prepare My House for a Blizzard?

You’ll want to take a number of steps to prepare your home for a blizzard, including gathering emergency supplies, having backup heating options available, and more; you should also insulate the home, check for drafts, and prevent frozen pipes by leaving faucets dripping. Additionally, make sure your snow removal tools are ready for use. Make sure to tune in to local weather for essential updates.

Final Thoughts

Winter weather can be unpredictable, and it’s essential to take precautions to stay safe during blizzards and winter storms. Preparing your home and car for winter conditions will increase your chances of staying safe inside or in your car on the road.

While the tips we’ve provided in this article are a good place to get started, there are still additional steps you may want to take to ensure your safety. Make sure you consult information from the government and similar resources to ensure that you are thoroughly prepared.

When blizzards hit, you should always anticipate power outages and have another solution to charge your devices or keep you warm. Consider EcoFlow’s Whole Home Generator for home backup, and for an on-the-road power solution, use EcoFlow Power Kits to stay prepared for any emergency.

EcoFlow is a portable power and renewable energy solutions company. Since its founding in 2017, EcoFlow has provided peace-of-mind power to customers in over 85 markets through its DELTA and RIVER product lines of portable power stations and eco-friendly accessories.

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