Winter Storm Preparation Tips

winter storm prep tipsAfter running to the store for French toast supplies and toilet paper, what do Long Islanders need to do to prepare for a winter storm?
The first winter storm of the season can easily sneak up on us, so it’s essential to develop a plan based on good winter storm preparation tips and then make sure you check things off the list as you get them handled.

5 Tips to Prepare for Winter Storms

  1. Pick Up Extra Groceries
    While we all joke about the people who run for the grocery for milk, bread, and eggs at the first hint of snowflakes, it’s not a bad idea to check your food and toiletries supply to make sure you are ready for winter storms.

    Many of us shop for just a few days at a time or shop to a specific menu, but how will your supplies hold up if you cannot run out for fresh fruits and vegetables or order delivery? Even more importantly, how will your supplies hold up if the power goes out?

    Making a gourmet dinner for your family sounds great until there’s no power for the stove, blender, and microwave.

    When you plan for winter storms, plan for quick meals like sandwiches that you can make without power or warming and filling foods like beef stew and vegetable soup. Soups are good single-pot meals if you need to run a generator to power your kitchen, and quick, low prep snacks and sandwiches can keep bellies full when the electricity is out.
    Don’t forget to make sure you have extra food and water for your pets as well.

  2. Check Your Emergency Supply Kit
    Most of the time, your emergency supply kit is sitting in a box and not getting a lot of attention. But now is the time to make sure your flashlights have batteries, you have a lighter for your emergency candles, and everyone has an extra pair of warm socks.

    While you’re at it, make sure you have plenty of the medications your family needs daily and any other supplies that make life a little easier.

  3. Charge Your Electronics
    When a winter storm is imminent, take the time to make sure you have an extra charger for all your devices in the car and then charge your phones, tablets, and even laptops. Now that so many people are working from home, having a telephone hot spot can be the difference between working and an unscheduled day off.

    Your phone and other devices can help keep you updated on changing weather conditions and give you something to do when snowed in. It’s also not a bad idea to pick up some analog entertainment, books, or board games, for those long snowy days.

  4. Make Sure Your Vehicle Is Prepped
    When the forecaster says a winter storm is on its way, take a couple of minutes to gas up your vehicles and make sure that your windshield wiper fluid is topped off.

    It’s also a good idea to have an extra blanket, easy-to-eat food, and bottled water in the car in case you get stuck in the car in a storm.

  5. Prepare Your Home
    Take a few minutes to prepare your home before even a hint that snow might be on the way.

    If you have a secondary heat source, like a fireplace or wood stove, make sure you are well-stocked with dry wood, kindling, and fire starters. If you rely on a generator as a backup when the electricity goes out, ensure you have plenty of fuel and that the generator is in good working order. Make sure you also know precisely where it is, especially if you haven’t used it since last winter.

    Make sure ice melt and snow shovels are easily accessible. If you haven’t already done so, check trees to ensure they don’t have dead branches that will come down in heavy snowfall.

And most importantly, check to make sure your home heating system is ready for whatever Mother Nature can throw at you. Running out of fuel oil in the middle of a storm is always going to make things worse.

Keep in mind that although the standard residential home has a standard 275-gallon tank and is considered full when the tank is at 225 gallons. That means that a ¼ full 275-gallon tank has 56 gallons of oil. A home that is 2,500 square feet uses about 6-7 gallons a day as a general rule of thumb, and 56 gallons would be adequate for about a week’s use at freezing temperatures.

Call Tragar Express and Keep Your Oil Tank Full

When it’s time for heating system maintenance or upgrade, call the experts at Tragar Home Services. We offer extensive oil heat and gas heat system services. Our parent company, Tragar, has been keeping Nassau County and Suffolk County residents comfortable for over 60 years. For information about heating system upgrades or scheduling a COD oil delivery, call Tragar Express today at (516) 221-2559. You can also email us at