Saturday, January 14, 2017

First Winter Storm Of The Season

I know other parts of the country have already been inundated by the fun elements of winter weather—the northeast, and midwest have already had snow and blizzard conditions.  Even the deep south has had some nasty northern style winter weather. And just this last week California has been pounded by days of torrential rain causing extensive damage.

All-in-all, it's starting out to be a very wintery type winter. So far, my little area of the country has had freezing temperatures, a little flurry of snow, but nothing of consequence.

Until now.

We have a major ice storm moving in on us…due today (Saturday, Jan 14). Predictions are for up to 2" of ice (no snow, just ice) which translates to major problems for more than just the motorists who need to be on the roads.  Downed tree limbs causing damage to whatever is beneath them such as cars, houses, and power lines.  Downed power lines causing wide spread and prolonged loss of electricity. And, of course, the cold that goes along with it.

Ice is so deceptive.  With snow, you look out the window and can see how much of it surrounds your house.  You can shovel it to make a path and clear the driveway.  But with ice, you look out the window and you don't see just how much of it there is.  And ice is a little difficult to shovel. :)

News story on television last night said no generators for sale available in town and at this point definitely too late to order one when you need it today. Grocery store shelves have been raided. Lots of cars at the gas station making sure the tank is full and locating that cable to charge the cell phone from the car (after disconnecting the automatic garage door opener so you can manually open the garage before running the car engine which means you need to stay with the car…but you can turn on the car heater).

For those of us who do not have back up generators, it's a matter of making sure you have an adequate supply of various size batteries on hand for flashlights, lanterns and radios and for that matter a battery operated radio with emergency weather capabilities.  Start out with fully charged phone, laptop computer, tablet and e-reader. And if you have an all electric kitchen (like I do) make sure you have a manual can opener and food that can be eaten cold (oh no…can't even boil water for instant coffee!! although my water heater is gas so I'll have hot water).  Warm clothes and blankets (no electric blankets and no furnace since the thermostat requires electricity even though the furnace is natural gas). A wood burning fireplace would sure be great but I think I'm too late to build one or buy a wood burning stove!

We had a huge ice storm about 10 years ago…my power was out for several days.  Not a fun time!!

I have a place I can go if I lose power, a friend who has offered me the guest bedroom and they have gas kitchen and wood burning fireplace but at that point in time it's a matter of weighing cold and inconvenience against actually driving on streets of solid ice.

Of course, this too shall pass.  But in the meantime…

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