Be Prepared for a Winter Emergency!
What do a snowstorm, a power outage and three boys stuck at home with nothing to do and no interest in "living like they did in the old days" teach you? Be Prepared! That's the lesson we learned the hard way a few weeks ago, when snow fell heavy, and within two hours we were sitting in a darkening living room wondering whether we'd be celebrating Thanksgiving without football and with a raw turkey on the table. My boys are all Boy Scouts, so I definitely heard my fill of "I told you to put batteries in the flashlight!" But beyond that came
"There's no water in the sink!"
"Mom, the fridge light went out too!"
And later, when my husband got home,
"Did you get that extra gas for the generator Honey?"
No heat, no water, no light, and at least for the time being, no generator either! My kids would be telling me, "add in that we didn't have computers either!" But for me that was the one ray of light in an otherwise very dark day!
5 Things to Keep You Warm, Bright and Cozy in a Winter Emergency
- Batteries. Simple to do. Keep a flashlight in each room, and a stock of fresh batteries on hand. Go out and buy batteries for everything every January.
- Water. Hydration is important. You're not preparing for Armageddon, but enough for 2 or 3 days isn't a bad idea. Purchase gallon jugs of water from the store, (they'll keep until opened). Store in a cool dark place like the basement. One gallon per person per day plus one extra.
- Gas. For your generator, for your snow blower, for your snowmobile (if things get that bad). Remember. When power outages occur, even gas stations can suffer, and you don't want to wait in a mile long line for that one station with a working pump!
- Generator. When I was younger we didn't lose power as much as we do now. Maybe that's just my poor memory. But these days it seems everyone has a generator. Buy yours in the summer when prices are low, or you'll end up in the Generator Lottery at the local box store, buying one much larger than you need for top dollar during the first or second big storm of the season. (I speak from experience on this one). Make sure to test start your generator every Fall so you know it's working.
- Propane. I know it's winter but believe me. You CAN cook a turkey on your gas grill. So at the end of BBQ season, make sure you have one full tank to carry you through the winter "just in case". You won't regret it, and if it doesn't get used, you'll be the first to fire up the grill in February during that unseasonably warm day that tends to spring up on us every few years.
Other things to keep on hand:
Hand warmer packs, down comforters, wool afghans, wool or fleece socks, hats. Car chargers for phones, tablets, and other electronic items.
If you have natural gas, and you're not on a well, you probably will have access to a hot shower, and the burners on a gas stove will also work.
If you have elderly neighbors, check in on them at times like these. My mother-in-law was stuck for 4 days with this past storm, no generator, but thankfully she has a woodstove, and we'd lugged a bunch of wood in ahead of the storm so she was snug and warm!
Have a power outage story to share from this year or earlier! Let us know how you "weathered the storm".
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