New York

Snow Prep Emergency Checklist: 15 Things to Do Right Now

What to Know

  • Arctic chills continue Monday, although it's expected to be slightly warmer than it was over the weekend
  • Snow will start early Tuesday and continue throughout the day, moving out of the tri-state in the late evening
  • 12 to 18 inches are expected, with up to 2 feet in some areas; wind gusts may top 40 mph, and on Long Island they could near 60 mph

The New York metropolitan area is preparing for a late-season storm that is expected to bring significant snowfall to much of the region.

The city could see up to 18 inches of snow, while some spots in the tri-state area may get hit with up to 2 feet, meteorologists say. Mayor de Blasio has already announced New York City schools will be closed Tuesday, and local and state officials across the region are urging residents to get prepared now. 

Here’s a compilation of snowstorm checklists from American Red Cross, the CDC and FEMA (also be sure to check our snow guide for the latest news you need to know about mass transit, roads and air travel).

  1. Keep a full tank of gas in your vehicle. A full tank will keep the fuel line from freezing. 

  2. Have a first aid kit ready. Refill all of your prescriptions for at least a week's supply. Also make sure you’ve stocked for other medical items, such as contact lens solution and extra batteries for hearing aids. Don't forget any hygienic products like extra tampons and toothpaste.
  3. Lots of warm clothing and blankets are a must.
  4. If you have little ones, check baby supplies like formula, clean bottles, diapers and baby food. Make sure you have enough!
  5. Prepare battery-powered flashlights or lanterns (with extra batteries!). If the power goes out, avoid using candles. If you do use them, never leave them alone.
  6. Get a portable cellphone charger if you don't have one -- the kind that will work without electricity.
  7. Have a battery-powered carbon monoxide detector as back-up.
  8. A battery-powered radio will help keep you connected to alerts if the power does go out.
  9. Batteries, batteries, batteries.

  10. Have a supply of drinking water for at least three days. For other water sources, you can fill your bathtub. As a final resort, you can melt snow; boiling it will get rid of germs but may not get rid of some accumulated chemicals in it.

  11. Have a supply of canned or easily prepared food for at least three days. Look for peanut butter, crackers, trail mixes, and canned meats or fish. Some fruits like citrus fruits have a shelf life of two weeks without refrigeration. And by the way, don't expect grocery delivery to go out in what is likely to be dangerous conditions; Peapod has already said they are canceling Saturday and Sunday delivery.
  12. If you have a pet, don't forget pet supplies!
  13. If you have another supply of heat, such as  by space or kerosene heaters, make sure to keep them at least three feet away from anything flammable such as furniture or drapes. Never, ever leave kerosene heaters unattended, and make sure that both space heaters and kerosene heaters are turned off when you go to sleep.
  14. Keep a supply of rock salt for walkways and sand or cat litter to add traction. Also, help your neighborhood by digging out fire hydrants and note where fire hydrants are in your area.
  15. If you must use your car (which officials are strongly warning against), stock it with a mini kit of supplies, including a first aid kit, blankets, extra clothing, batteries, cell charger and booster cables.
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