Learning From the Deep Freeze

The artic air that recently swept across most of the US saw near record lows in many areas and frankly caught a lot of people off guard. When I lived in the Chicago area, it was always bone chilling cold in the winter, but now I live in the South where subzero temps are unheard of yet that’s exactly what we got. During the coldest of those days, some folks including myself had the displeasure of rolling blackouts. Yea, I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, well there are a few, but I digress.

With any crisis, there are often hard lessons learned and this was no exception. The very definition of prepping is preparing for tough times, natural or man-made disasters, etc., trying to be as ready for anything as humanly possible. Sadly, many people were caught off guard by the harsh weather simply because they don’t pay attention; please pay attention. We knew it was coming, and it was actually worse than forecast, but we had taken steps to be ready. We had placed heavy blankets over the windows in the main part of the house. I know some people swear by those plastic window kits, but if you’re not careful you will wind up with mold. I tested the generator, checked the solar system, broke out the 2 little Buddy Heaters and the wife made a big pot of chili. We were ready, or so we thought.

The temps dipped to -4F early in the morning, but the house was toasty, and all seemed well until the power went out. We didn’t know it at first, but our power company was among several that were doing rolling blackouts to preserve the grid at the very worst time possible. The first thing I thought when the lights went out is I should have bought more Little Buddy Heaters. It’s that old hindsight is 20/20 thing. However, between the heaters and running lights on solar (we had candles and lanterns at the ready) we didn’t need to run the gas generator and the blackouts didn’t last really long. I did recently purchase 2 more, but be warned, the price can vary widely. I have seen them listed at nearly $150, when if you watch you should be able to get between $75 and $80 from either Amazon or Walmart. I really like these but do your own due diligence. The blankets worked so well keeping the cold out that I was reluctant to take them down, but it did look awfully silly. They have now been stored away and ready for next time.

Whether you think it’s the Grand Solar Minimum or Climate Change or a change in the magnetic field or just crazy weather it’s important to be ready for whatever mother natural throws at us. I hope you found this helpful.

Prepare now.


  1. I don’t know what part of ‘the South’ you’re in (possibly South Chicago???), but I hope I never move there! The coldest we got here in St. Pete was 52d. And brother – that was bad enough. I was walking around the house dressed like Nanuk of the North!!! Brrrr!

    Blankets on the windows is a brilliant idea. I was born and raised in New York; dad would put a blanket over the engine of his car at night if the weather was supposed to go to freezing. He never had a bit of trouble getting it started in the morning.

    Thanks for all your great hints and tips!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Here in the frozen tundra or great white north of Minnesota, we have to deal with the cold, DUH!, for 4 to 6 months yearly. My talented wife is a whiz at sewing and we have always had heavy drapes she has made for our large windows patios doors and bedrooms. Floor to ceiling. Work well in the winter and in the summer to help keep the house cool, when the ‘humidity’ and temps heat up, remember where I am, anything above 80 is warmish, 90 is OMG!! and 100?? We are in Hell!.
    I also have Buddy Heater(s), Ice fishing, working in the garage,etc. Setup so I can run them off a 6lb or 20lb propane tank. Remember to use an inline filter when you do that!
    As for rolling blackouts, we have yet to experience them. We do have power outages, but rarely longer then 5 to 6 hours. I have 3 12 volt powerboxes I built I use for ice fishing, deer hunting etc. Lights, charging capabilities for phones, tablets, etc.
    I am researching various solar generators, need to get one!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. 2 years ago here in Central TX, we had some 5 degree lows, which burst a pipe in the well house. We were without water for a week, until a generous blog follower of mine drove and and repaired the broken pipe.
    We had some 12 degree nights this winter, but not 5 degrees. I put in a heat lamp in the wellhouse that shines on the outlet pipe from the well to keep it from freezing.
    This winter, our central unit that heats/cools the front part of the house went out. We have space heaters that work OK, but they’re not enough to heat a room. We have a wood burning stove too that I have never used. I probably should check the chimney for bird nests or scorpion dens for next year, given all the firewood we have lying around here.
    We have been lucky this year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow. You dont have a furnace installed? To heat house when cold? I realize 5 degrees is cold for texas but it happens! I was in El Paso number years ago. there was snow! Im in North Dakota. we had minus 25 degrees below zero temperatures. if wind blows, that chill reduces to minus 5o or 60 degrees below zero. Houses need furnaces, and its death if your outside and not dressed like an eskimo!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We actually had two central units. one went out completely last year, and had to replace it with a mini split system.
        The unit in the front of the house went out a couple weeks ago; same problem as the other one had when we replaced it..

        Liked by 2 people

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