As I write this we have the second major winter storm of the season moving into the area. The first storm was November first and we had no power for two days.
Water – The day before the storm is due to hit I fill gallon containers with water. I plan for at least three days without power and figure on two gallons per person per day for drinking and hygiene purposes. In addition to this we have two pets and I plan on a gallon per day for them. In my case I make sure we have a minimum of fifteen gallons of potable water. It has been my experience that you go through more water than you think you will so my minimum requirement is twice what the Red Cross and FEMA recommend. In addition to this I fill the bathtub with water and designate that for toilet flushing purposes. This can be stretched with the addition of snow if necessary. I find the snow melts more quickly if it is mixed with water.
Food – We rely on canned soups, fruit, crackers, oatmeal, and cream of wheat as staples to get through a power outage. The soup should be of the heat and eat variety not the condensed soup. I keep paper plates and bowls and plastic spoons and forks on hand this helps conserve water that would be needed for cleanup. I recommend investing in a Coleman stove I have both the liquid fuel and propane varieties but much prefer the ease of use for the propane one. I keep a dozen tanks on hand for cooking purposes.
Lighting – I do not like candles for lighting purposes I believe the potential fire dangers out weigh any light you get from them. I use a combination of battery operated lanterns, flashlights and kerosene lanterns (burning un-scented lamp oil). Always check at the beginning of winter and after any outage that you have sufficient fuel and batteries on hand. Personally I keep one gallon of lamp oil and enough batteries to change them in all lights twice. Battery life can be extended by buying LED lights or converting flashlights to LED bulbs.