Barebones Snowstorm Survival Checklist

Barebones Snowstorm Survival Checklist, five things

Heads up!

This list isn’t exhaustive.

Check out our snowstorm guide to see the full snowstorm emergency kit.

We’ve compiled a list of the top 5 bare necessities you’ll want on hand when the snow starts falling. If you use your car a lot, make sure you’re prepared at home and on the road. Snowstorms usually come with a lot of warning, but car trouble in cold weather can put you in an emergency situation quickly if you’re not prepared.

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1. Flashlight

Buy a high-powered and rechargeable LED flashlight with at least 1000 lumens. Some of these even have a USB port so that you can charge via a power bank. However, you should keep spare batteries on hand so that you can save the power bank for other devices.

This flashlight should have a range of 100 meters and should have an IP66 rating for waterproofing. You could also buy flashlights that have a spotlight and flashlight mode as well as an auto SOS signal.

cat watching falling snow GIF
Stay safe. Stay chonky.

2. First Aid Kit

The importance of a first aid kit cannot be overstated. Injuries during a snowstorm are not unknown.

Stock your first aid kit with bandages and surgical dressings. A small splint can also be useful (or a few strips of wood of length between 3 to 8 inches).

Some of the medicines you should include are over the counter painkillers (such as Aleve, Advil, or Tylenol), antihistamines (such as Allegra), and topical medication (such as Lidocaine) for burns. 

An analgesic cream such as Bengay which inhibits some pain is also necessary.

Medication for indigestion and heartburn such as Tums is also good to have.

3. Power Bank

If you ask me, one can never have enough power banks. They are portable batteries that can recharge your phone and devices.

You should buy one with at least 20,000 mah (four full recharges of a phone) and a fast charge outlet.

Some come with a USB-C and USB-A port. Make sure your phone, charger cable, and power bank are all compatible. 

man scrolling on a tablet
You’ll need at least one powerbank to adequately doomscroll during a natural disaster.

4. Thermal Blanket

Although you will be indoors, spend a few dollars on a pack of thermal blankets. Thermal blankets at 12 microns thick, they have an area of about 4 feet by 7 feet, and are made from aluminum. They are waterproof, windproof, and moisture-proof, and are sold in packs of 10s.

Since they are usually sold so cheap, it is best to have a few for your car as well. Just be sure to stock up before the snowstorm, in case they sell out and/or to avoid price gouging.

5. Emergency Hammer

For your vehicle, you need an emergency hammer. These are usually a small, blunt hammers with a strategically positioned blade that can cut through the seatbelt and it can be used for breaking the windshield.

All-in-one models are available online. Some even have a flashlight inside the grip.

This way, in case of an accident, you can easily get out of your car. Heck, these aren’t even limited to use during snowstorms. Anytime that you have an accident and you need to get out of your car but the doors aren’t working, you can pull out your emergency hammer and get cracking.


Pro tip: Your emergency hammer will be mostly useless if you leave it in the trunk.

If that got you jazzed up about survival, get on over to our snowstorm guide to set up your full snowstorm emergency kit!

About the Author

Writer, editor, and professional joker with an environmental science background. Like most trivia nerds, she's an ardent admirer of Only Connect competitors, but more at home on the QI field.

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