Thursday, February 10, 2011

How did you fare through the storms?

I hope everyone is safe and sound after the wild winter storms that have been happening. We were lucky here, and although the weather got very cold, we had little snow. I saw plenty of news reports, though, with pictures of cars half buried in snow, and sliding around on the roads. Brrr! It makes me cold to think of it. When I hear about such things, I like to think about what I would do in such a situation. I go through it in my mind, and imagine what I would need to get through it the most comfortably.

For example, when I saw pictures of cars half buried in snow on Chicago's Lake Shore Drive, I thought about what I would have needed in my car to survive buried in snow much of the night. Blankets, water, food, light, warm clothing, charged cell phone. A shovel might not have done them much good, but in other winter situations, it would be helpful. And coarse salt or kitty litter for if you get stuck on icy roads. And wouldn't that be a horrible time to run out of gas? It is easy enough to always keep the gas tank at least half full, once you develop the habit.

How about those plagued by power outages? If it were you, would you have had food, water, a way to keep warm, light? A way to cook the food? A way to entertain yourself and the rest of the family that doesn't involve power? This is a good time to evaluate your preparedness, while the recent winter storms are fresh on our minds. Don't think that if a storm is forecast you can just run to the store and pick up what you need, because everyone else will beat you there. A family friend posted pictures on Facebook of his local grocery store 2 days before a snowstorm was predicted to hit his Atlanta neighborhood with an inch or two of snow. The shelves were literally empty. Do you know how to bake bread? Do you have powdered milk to top your cereal with? Do you even have an extra box of cereal (or whatever you eat for breakfast)? Remember, when the power is out at your house, it is likely to be out at McDonald's, too, so you may not be able to rely on breakfast out, even if you wanted to brave the weather.

Another consideration is, what if you or a family member is sick when the storm hits? Would you have enough medications to get you through the crisis? Probably the only thing worse than having to go out in the storm, is having to go out in the storm while sick. Or having a sick child you can't comfort because you are out of infant Tylenol.

It is easy enough to learn from experience, but it is much more comfortable to learn from someone else's experience, and not have to go through the discomfort yourself.

We recently got an early morning phone call from our son. His car had died on the freeway a few miles from our house. We went to help him tow his car to the local repair shop. Fortunately we had tow straps in DH's car, but the thing we didn't have was a flashlight. At least, there wasn't a flashlight in DH's glove box. Or in DS's car. (I still say there was a wind-up flashlight in DH's 72 hour kit, but he wasn't willing to dig through it to find it.) So there we were in the early morning dark, trying to connect a tow strap by feel. We managed, just barely. By the time we got to the repair shop, the tow strap had come un-hooked, and was just wedged in place. DH learned from that experience, and immediately made sure that everyone in the family had a flashlight for their glove compartment. Do you have a flashlight in your car? Tow straps? Basic tools? A little mental exercise now could save a lot of discomfort in the future.

Stay warm and safe.


  1. Great reminders. We had friends here in Chicago who lost their power, and with the blizzard getting around was very difficult. They were able to stay with neighbors who still had power, but I imagine they're rethinking their preparedness for such an event.

  2. Hi Vicki, I was wondering if you still blogged and then I saw about it on facebook.
    all good info here.
    I have one more tip with our recent heavy snowfalls, take out all our your household trast before the storm comes, I did and even still, 2 days later when we had more trash, I had to put on my snow gear just to get to the outdoor trash can.

    nice to see you blogging againg

  3. we're freezing our assets off

  4. Great advice for all of us to heed!

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