Winter survival tips everyone should know
By Olivia Cook // Dec 04, 2023

Here are a few tips that can help you cope with the many challenges brought about by winter weather.

Be informed

Before leaving your home, check the weather forecast available through radio, television and social media broadcasts. Listen to wind chill warnings and use the information to draw actionable prepping plans, as appropriate.

Prepare your home for winter weather

Here are a few simple steps that can save you money from costly emergency repairs.

  • Arrange for a home energy audit with a professional who can tune up your home's heating system. Confirm air leaks throughout your home or uncover any issues or problems, such as around attic hatches or roof eaves, ceiling lights, doors, electrical outlets, plumbing fixtures, windows and so on.
  • Consider a secondary source of heat that isn't power-dependent in case of outages, like a fireplace (which you can also use for cooking during power outages) or buy a solar-powered generator. If you have a wood-burning stove, make sure it is properly vented to the outside.
  • Get your chimney or flue inspected to help prevent chimney fires.
  • Get into the habit of regularly checking and replacing batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Insulate your attic, walls and any water lines that run along exterior walls so your water supply is less likely to freeze.
  • Clean your gutters, downspouts and exterior drainage systems so they drain properly. Doing so could also help you avoid issues with ice buildup or water overflow in case of a winter storm.
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Check out more tips and ways to prepare your home for the coming winter.

Dress "smart" for winter health challenges

Think prevention and stay warm – from your head to your toes.

Dress appropriately to reduce the risk of extreme cold temperature-related health challenges – from asthma attacks, the common cold, flu, sore throat and strep throat to more serious health issues, such as chilblains, frostbite, frostnip, hypothermia, pneumonia or trench foot, among others.

Check out these tips on how to dress and stay warm during winter from the American Academy of Dermatology Association.

Prepare to be snowed in

Consider the following when making an emergency plan for you and your family:

  • Water - Check your emergency water supply and learn how to stop water from freezing in winter. (Related: 4 Tips to prevent emergency water from freezing.)
  • Food - Make an inventory of your survival stockpile for non-perishable foods, foods that require little or no cooking, must-have shelf-stable foods, storable staple foods and special "survival" foods. Replenish your supplies if needed. (Related: Keep well this winter with these warming spices packed with health benefits.)
  • Medicine and medical supplies/equipment - Take time to review your medical kits. Check the expiration dates of your over-the-counter (OTC) medicines and get rid of anything that's expired. Restock on homemade salves and tinctures made from essential oils, natural or OTC cough calmers, nasal sprays, pain relievers, sore throat soothers and so on.
  • Sanitation needs. Keep an emergency water supply (e.g., in your bathtub) for flushing or start learning about DIY emergency use bucket toilets. You can invest in waterless toilets like the ones sold in camping or boating stores. Learn more about how you can handle survival sanitation during a crisis.

Remain active

Especially during winter, try these outdoor activities to boost your immune system: brisk walking or hiking, ice-skating, jogging or running, raking leaves, shoveling snow, sledding, snowshoeing and so on.

"Winterize" your car

Experts say no special steps are needed to winterize a vehicle if it's driven almost daily or if you live in a state that enjoys perpetual summertime weather. Nevertheless, learn how to prepare your vehicle for winter driving for you and your family's safety.

Keep a survival kit in your vehicle

Make sure you include the following tools in the survival kit you store in your vehicle:

  • battery-powered radio with extra batteries
  • booster cables with fully-charged battery or jumper cables
  • bright-colored flags, help signs or emergency flares
  • canned compressed air with sealant for emergency tire repair
  • compass, road maps and a whistle
  • flashlights with extra batteries
  • road salt to melt ice or sand to help tires get traction
  • ropes or tow chains
  • shovel
  • tire chains
  • water-proof matches
  • windshield scraper

When SHTF, it is better to have supplies and never need them than to need supplies and not have any. Visit for more stories like this.

Watch the following video to learn about winter survival tips everyone must know.

This video is from the Daily Videos channel on

More related stories:

Winter survival: Ways to stay warm when the power goes out.

Prepper tips and tricks: How to stay warm in winter using cayenne peppers.

Winter depression caused by more than seasonal affective disorder.

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