Winter weather can be relentless. Ice, snow, and sleet in their many forms mean homeowners can find themselves homebound.

Outlined below are ten easy steps that can help your family make it through a winter snow-in.

1. Keep warm: Temperatures can drop well below zero during major winter storms. If your electricity fails, do you have a backup plan to keep warm? Blankets, warm clothing, and firewood are all great things to have on hand.

2. Water: We can survive on limited food, but we and our pets must have water. Have bottled or jugged water on hand in the case of emergency.

3. Non-perishable food: If you go without electricity, you may find yourself being unable to store food. Stock up on non-perishables before a big storm. And then buy plenty of fruits and vegetables that can keep without refrigeration.

4. Crank radio: You may need to listen to emergency announcements. Crank and battery-powered radios are an essential.

5. First-aid kit: Alcohol, bandages, anti-bacterial ointment, burn salve, and basic pain killers (aspirin and acetaminophen) are staples of a well-stocked first-aid kit. Also be sure that prescriptions have been filled prior to any big storm system.

6. Sidewalks: Be sure to have a snow shovel and a bag of sand on hand before any big storm. You'll need to clear your driveway as well as sand your walkways. There is nothing worse than taking a spill on ice.

7. Candles and lighter/matches: If lights are out, you'll still need candles or a flashlight to find your way around. Plus, candles offer a great ambiance, even when you're stuck inside!

8. Entertainment: Movies, cards, board games, and books can all make the time pass quickly.

9. Sleds: Okay, this isn't a necessity. But nothing brings out the wish for a sled more than a perfectly snow covered hill. Plan ahead and you'll be ready for some great family bonding.

10. Travel: If you must venture out, be sure you have a full tank of gas, a blanket/sleeping bag, water, and kitty litter. Why kitty litter? If you get stuck, kitty litter may offer enough grit for tires to gain traction.

Use these simple tips to make your next snow day successful. And above all else, be sure to stay off icy roads and inside your home when weather is bad.

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