Ice, Snow & Bitter Cold: Were You Ready

A major winter storm is blasting across the US including areas that are normally immune from such weather. Slick roads, trees down, power out and empty store shelves are the norm across much of the country right now. As I’m writing this we are hunkered down on our third consecutive day of seemingly endless freezing rain and ice. This area is particularly sensitive to even the slightest chance of snow or ice as many people here remember a devastating ice storm that hit here in the early 90’s. They remember being cut off from the world by ice covered trees blocking the roads and knocking out power, local stores stripped clean of any supplies and remaining that way for over 5 weeks. The locals remember and are typically better prepared or at least more proactive than most. However, many areas around the country were caught unprepared.

I left work a bit early Friday afternoon as it was unusually slow and decided to do a little grocery run on my way home. The storm was forecast to start here later that night so I was NOT the only one shopping. The place was pretty busy and folks were clearly concerned and preparing for the worst. On my journey home, the further up the mountain I got, the colder it got and the slicker the roads got. When I finally arrived home, my gravel drive hadn’t yet frozen, but everything else was covered in a thin layer of ice. By morning, everything was ice and remains ice at this time with snow supposedly starting in a few hours and continuing until tomorrow morning some time. Oh Joy!

So why am I telling you all this? We’ll you might be stuck inside as well looking for something to read, but more importantly, times like this help us figure out just how prepared or not prepared we are. Candles, flashlights, battery powered lanterns – check. Propane heaters and fuel – check. Food, water, paper goods – check. Camping stove, grill with side burners, fuel – check. Medications and medical supplies – check. All seems good, as it should be, but I did find a crack in our preps that needs attention. Coffee. Yes, I have lots of coffee stored, including instant (yuck), we can run the coffee maker on solar if the power is out, but not a way to make it with the camping stove if the solar system goes down. Since we haven’t seen the sun here in a few days and the solar panels are covered in ice, the system is low and it would be wise to conserve that energy for other things. Coffee pot ordered. Two is one, one is none – always have a back up for your back up.

As this nasty weather continues I may stumble across a few more things I’ve missed. How about you?

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

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