At least once or twice in the winter months, Charlotte will plan for a winter storm with freezing rain and icy conditions. It’s not unusual for January/February. Neither is the run on bread and milk that typically comes along with it. If you’ve lived here, even just one winter, you know that it doesn’t take much snow to have a big impact on roads, electricity, and area schools. Truth be told, even the threat of winter weather can cause closures. 

Are you ready for severe weather? 

The CDC estimates about half of Americans do not have resources and a plan in place in the event of an emergency. 

It might seem like an emergency storm kit is more fitting in places like Minnesota, or Indiana, but you shouldn’t overlook them just because we live in the Carolinas. In 2016 we got three inches of snow and in 2014 we got nearly five. Sure, most of the time the amount of snow we get is minimal there have been exceptions like The Christmas Snowstorm of 1989 and the February storm in 1973.

So what do you need to include in storm kit?

At the top of the list is a 3-day supply of water(one gallon per person, per day) and 3 days of non-perishable food (don’t forget to include a manual can opener)

Believe it or not, 44% of Americans do NOT have first aid kits. If you are one of them, add that to your emergency preparedness list.

The CDC also recommends:

  • PHONE CHARGER (one that doesn’t rely on electricity is a good idea) so you can get emergency updates 
  • Flashlight
  • Extra batteries
  • Whistle (to signal for help)
  • Dust mask (to help filter contaminated air)
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties (for personal sanitation)
  • Wrench or pliers (to turn off water or gas if necessary)
  • Pet food (your family pet will need to eat too!)

For more information visit:

If severe weather is in the forecast, make sure your car has gas. You’ve probably seen the run on gas at local stations whenever a storm is in the forecast. We don’t recommend contributing to gas lines if you have ¾ of a tank, but it makes sense if you are near empty. 

While you are stocking emergency supplies for your home, it’s a good idea to do the same for your car.  

  • You should have an ice scraper, snow brush, jumper cables and basic tools. 
  • Always carry an emergency supply kit with a flashlight, first aid kit, blankets, shovel, sand (for traction in ice) and drinking water. 

Winter weather and your cruise control make a dangerous combination. Take it easy. Speeding is the number one cause of wrecks in winter weather. 

To report a power outage to Duke Energy, call 1-800-769-3766. The same number can be used to report downed power lines in your area. You can also report outages online by clicking here. 

Hopefully, you won’t need any of the supplies, but you’ll be glad you took the time to gather them if you actually do have to use them.