Sunday, February 15, 2015

President's Day Snow Storm

A huge cold front is coming from the south west.  This is our best chance for snow.  The only time we get snow with accumulations is if the storm comes from the south/southwest and the cold comes from Canada at the same time.

Last night we had a huge wind storm and some snow which melted pretty much on impact. We had a little bit of it stay with us on mulchy areas but no real accumulation.  However, the wind made our electricity flicker so much that we got out our emergency lighting sources and prepared for a long night stoking the fire to keep us all warm. The lights didn't go out but according to our news this morning more than 23,000 people ARE without power.  The temps aren't supposed to rise above 26 today and the temps will be this way for most of the week coming up.

In my last post about winter storms, I mentioned that we were pretty much set on supplies except for firewood (our only alternative heating source in this house).  Yesterday, right on time, my husband picked up a load of firewood for us.  We don't have a large storage space for firewood so we could only get a little bit, but if the power goes out we are good for a couple days, and that was our goal.

Predictions say that we will get anything from 1 inch to 10 inches of snow on Monday into Tuesday.  I will venture out and grab a gallon of milk and a couple loaves of bread (truly because we are running low and need it, and my kids LOVE French Toast.)

More importantly, besides milk, eggs, bread, cheese, hot chocolate, and toilet paper, here are a few things to think about when preparing for a winter storm.

1. Alternative Heating Source:  in this house for us it is our fireplace.  We have a fresh load of firewood.  We have plenty of blankets, socks, mittens, hats, sweaters. Our floors get cold so it is important that we keep our feet warm.

2.  Food that you can cook without power.  We are lucky in this house that our stove will still work (a gas stove) with a power outage.  We can't use our oven but we can use our stove top.

3.   Alternative Lighting Sources: Flashlights with a good supply of extra batteries, candles with safe ways to burn them, lanterns (battery or oil).

4.  Water: Bottles are great, otherwise fill many large cisterns with water prior to a storm so you have it. We need stored water in case the power goes out and you live on property with a well and electric pump. Also important in case the water source becomes contaminated somehow or you lose water pressure due to a water main break or frozen pipes.

5. Entertainment: If you have little kids or get bored easily, prepare for some light entertainment to keep everyone busy during the time you will be spending indoors.  Also prepare for entertainment that doesn't need electricity. This can include a deck of cards, board games, hobbies, movies (if you have electricity), etc.  When my kids were younger in preparing for winter storms I gathered together some activities and tucked them away for a snow day.  These activities included a craft, some games, new crayons and coloring books, a book to read together, and other small fun things.  I packed them in a bag and kept it in my closet until a snow day came.  This was often a day saver for us.  As soon as the kids began to get bored I pulled out new things they hadn't seen before.

Today I will be spending most of the day working on laundry (just in case) and straightening the house.  This will help us in case we lose power.  We don't want to trip over things on the floor in the dark.  Then I will venture out to get the last few things we need from the store.

Winter storms remind us to think about four things; warmth, food, lighting, water. Preparing for entertainment is a bonus and often a sanity saver.  Make sure you think about these things in preparing for a winter storm.

Have a great day!

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