Not sure if winter’s begun to show it’s frosty fingertips where you live, but here in Toronto, the weather’s slowly begun to take a turn for the colder. Last December, Thomas and I had the misfortune of living through 5 nights and 4 days with no electricity in sub-zero degree Canadian weather, as the Toronto power grid went down and emergency vehicles were having trouble getting the electrical lines back up. Being left without working central heating, and without a working stove (yes, ours was electric) really had us wishing we were more prepared than we were.
This year, we’re doing our best not to relive our mistakes. After all, the past could repeat itself. However unlikely, we could be stuck in yet another ice storm, maybe one that knocks out the power grid for even longer this time.
Just after the events of last year, we took a hard look at our winter preparedness gear and decided it just wasn’t enough. After all, we didn’t just want to grit our teeth and get through a winter emergency, we wanted to live through it as comfortably as we possibly could (and maybe not freeze as much?). From our tech to our cookware, to our heating methods and all the way down to our clothes, there was just all around more that we could have had to have been better prepared.
We’re taking a hard look at that winter emergency supplies list now, reworking it a little, then checking up on our stock to make sure we’d really be ready this time, in the case of another city-wide winter emergency. Whatever we haven’t yet added to our stockpile, we’ll start ordering ASAP, to make sure it will get shipped to us plenty long enough before we need it.
Take a look below to see if there’s anything you feel would be an asset to your winter emergency stockpile as well. If you have tips/suggestions for us, either in terms of products to get or in terms of which products not to get, please let us know in the comments! Last year, one of our readers recommended an excellent portable propane heater, and if we didn’t already have a propane heater, you sure as hell better believe it’d be the first thing on our to-buy list! I firmly believe that it’s always incredibly wise to learn which items have proved useful to other preppers, and which products have turned out to not be worth the investment. After all, you don’t want to be stuck with a problematic product that you haven’t tested (you should always test – but hey, sometimes you’ll forget, it happens) in the middle of an emergency situation. Passing on information about the good and bad products out there really helps us to be better prepared as a community – at least I think so.
Please note that this list is not exhaustive: we know that there’s plenty more we could add in terms of emergency supplies, but we tried to concentrate on those items that would make living through colder weather easier. For a much more exhaustive prep stockpile, check out our Ultimate Survival Gear List.
And now onto the winter emergency supplies…
1. Winter Emergency Supply List of Gas Heating
Staying warm during winter emergencies is indubitably your top priority. Hypothermia is no joke, and while there are many different ways you can insulate your body that don’t require gas heating, few even come close to keeping you as warm as the emergency supplies on this part of the list.
- Butane/propane heater
- Secondary butane/propane heater
- Butane/propane backup
- BBQ lighters
- Long matches
2. Winter Emergency Supply List for No-Electricity Cooking
While it’s very likely you’ll still have running water during a winter power outage emergency, chances are you may not have a working gas stove to use. If your stove is electric like ours, you might want to add one or two of the cooking devices below to your stock of winter emergency supplies. Although it is completely possible to eat only cold food, you’ll get a huge psychological boost if you’re able to eat a warm meal here or there. There’s nothing like a hot bowl of soup on a freezing cold day.
- Butane/propane camping stove
- Butane/propane portable stove
- Butane/propane backup
- Wood burning portable stove
- Dry wood
3. Winter Emergency Supplies List of Warm Clothing
What you wear will be very important in any cold weather emergency. Even if you do have other methods of keeping warm, none will replace the necessity for well-insulating clothes that can be layered on top of each other to keep in extra heat.
- Wool socks (different sizes for layering purposes)
- Wool hats, gloves, scarves
- Leggings/long johns
- Down jackets
- Lined hunting pants
- Warm pants + shirts/sweaters (different sized thickness and tightness for layering purposes)
4. Winter Emergency Supply List of Misc Heating
While having a gas heater is certainly a benefit, you definitely don’t need one to stay warm in case of a winter emergency scenario. Adding many of the following items to your stockpile should help you keep plenty warm regardless of whether or not you have a gas heater, or in case you happen to run out of fuel before the emergency situation ends.
- Wool blankets
- Hot water bottles
- Sleeping bags
- Mylar emergency blankets
- Even more thermal blankets
- Tent (can be used for sleeping in to contain more heat)
5. Winter Emergency Supplies for Illumination
You’ll likely want some way of seeing in the dark if the power goes out in the middle of the winter. It’s not absolutely necessary, but we found it very helpful to at least keep a few candles lit in the room while we slept, and a flashlight on a bedside table in case we wanted to make a trip to the washroom in the dark of the night. Lighting and illumination products typically last a long time and are relatively inexpensive anyway, so it doesn’t hurt to have them in case of an emergency like this.
- 100+ hour candle
- Solar powered light (we got one of these recently and we love it! review coming soon)
- Extra batteries
6. Winter Emergency Supplies for Communications
It’s always a good idea to keep a cell phone working in case you have family or friends you’ll want to get in contact with during an emergency. You never know who may need some help. Keeping a wind up or AA-battery radio will also help you keep up-to-date on what’s happening in your city, so you can have a good idea of how long the emergency will last and how likely it is to continue past the estimated resolution date.
7. Winter Emergency Supply List of Short-Term Consumables
While it’s a huge benefit to have long-term non-perishable survival foods stockpiled anyway, we’ve found these short-term consumables really helped us out during last year’s emergency. Hot soup is amazing on a cold day, and it’s always nice to have some spreads and canned tuna on some bread in case you really feel too exhausted to be cooking.
- Bottled water
- Boxes of breakfast/energy bars
- Soup cans
- Canned fish/meat
- Sandwich ingredients: spreads (peanut butter/jam/nutella) & refrigerated bread
8. Winter Emergency Supply List of Pet Items
Going through last year’s winter emergency with our pet cat opened our eyes to how vital it was to have some extra supplies lying around that are specifically geared to helping your pet survive. We kept our cat huddled up in the same room as we were in, only letting him out through the cold house a couple of times a day for exercise. You might also want to feed your pet a bit extra in case the power goes out in the winter, as producing heat requires more calories to be burned.
- Extra bags of dry pet food
- Extra bags of litter
- Carrying cases (in case there’s a need to move to a warmer location)
Download & Print the Winter Emergency Supplies Checklist
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*** Click here to view & download the Winter Emergency Supplies Checklist PDF! ***
Looking for Budget & Discount Survival Gear?
If you’re interested in grabbing some inexpensive survival gear from outdoor retailers like Cabella’s, REI, and Patagonia, take a look at our massive list of knife & outdoor retailers’ sale, deal, & clearance pages! All the best outdoor gear discount pages to visit linked to on one page.
There’s also plenty of cheap, yet high quality survival gear that’s a great price whether or not it’s on sale. If you’re interested, take a look at what we think the best bang-for-buck survival gear products are at the $5, $10, $15, $20, & $25 price points.
Any Supplies We’ve Missed?
Let us know if we’ve missed anything that should be on this winter emergency supplies list by leaving a comment down below!