| January 2, 2013

A blizzard or even a heavy snowfall at the wrong time or in the wrong place can be a rude surprise for homeowners without the necessary supplies for prep and cleanup.

READ: How to Prepare Your Home For Any Emergency

And with much of the Northeast preparing to be hit with a major winter storm, here's a list of things to arm yourself with ahead of the snow.


Emergency Preparedness: Hand Crank Light

Wind 'N Go Vers-A-Light Hand Crank Lantern, about $25 Brookstone.com

Lanterns and other lights that don't require electricity are a necessity for any household, but a hand crank one is a requirement in any basic storm kit. This super-bright LED lantern never needs batteries—just an occasional wind-up to keep the light shining as long as needed.

READ: How to Winterize Your Shrubs

Emergency Preparedness: Hand Crank Radio

Eton American Red Cross Hand Turbine Weather Radio, about $35 bestbuy.com

Finding a way to get the news while your power's down is essential. This modern hand-crank unit not only delivers traditional news via the radio, but can help keep you connected to friends and family with a mobile phone charger and a USB input.

Emergency Preparedness: Freeze Alarm

Control Products FA-I-CCA Intermediate FreezeAlarm, about $150 Amazon.com

Being alerted to the fact that your home has lost power before you walk into a freezing, dark house can prepare you for the challenges you'll face when you get home. This little device can be programmed to call as many as three numbers when your home's power goes out or the temperature drops out of the designated range.

Emergency Preparedness: Battery Backup Sump Pump

Basement Watchdog Emergency Battery Backup Sump Pump, about $150 Homedepot.com

Snow may be pretty and all, but it's still just frozen water. If the temps warm up and that snow starts melting, you could end up with a flooded basement—a double whammy if the power goes out too, taking your sump pump with it. A battery backup sump pump is your basement's best friend because it's there all the time, especially when you lose power and need it the most.

READ: Fast Fixes For Ice Dams

Emergency Preparedness: Emergency Kit

Follow the advice of the American Red Cross and assemble a single bag full of items that are essential for survival during a disaster. Items in the kit will vary based upon the size of your family and each person's medications. See the minimum supplies list suggested by the Red Cross.

Weatherproofing: Weatherseal Tape

Frost King Clear Plastic Seal Tape, about $10 Lowes.com

The window repair man may busy tending to his own storm-ravaged home. This cold temp-safe clear tape is nice to have around in the case of cracked windows from tree branches and other flying debris. Or, use it to seal air leaks where you feel drafts for a quick, temporary fix.