What a couple of weeks it has been for Texas and other states that have been slammed with this freak arctic storm! The winter blast sent huge amounts of snow and ice all the way to the southern borders of Texas. Amazing weather event. Life in my state of Georgia has not changed much. We were one of the few states that did not get covered in this ice and sub zero temperature cold. With that said, it did make me pause and ask myself if I would have been ready for something like this? Have you asked yourself the same thing?
Would you be ready for such an event? It sure made me think, and I prepare for such things!
I believe there are some lessons to be learned from this. It pained me to see news footage of people standing in long lines in freezing weather outside grocery stores. One report I viewed stated that people were waiting several hours to get food and water! Let’s look at some things we can take from this storm so we can better prepare for the future.
- Heat — I saw a report where at least two people froze to death inside their homes! How horrible and difficult to believe this would happen in 2021 America. So there are some things we can do to prepare for alternative heating sources during a prolonged power outage. Some of these include generators and portable propane heaters. Propane would be more cost effective but you need to store extra propane. Generators are great but they can be very expensive. The Generac looks great on commercials but they cost thousands of dollars. Not in my budget! You can get a gasoline or solar powered generator for under $1000 to keep things like your fridge and freezer operating.
2. Food and Water — Please store extra food and water! If you have the means, prepare by stocking extra non perishable food and water. With water, you need 3 gallons per person, per day. Do this no matter where you live! In a power grid down situation, not only will you lose electricity, but your water will need to be filtered. I would highly recommend a water filter of some sort. Even if it is just something like a life straw or mini sawyer filter. Both are very affordable and easy to use. They run around $20 to $30. There are more expensive and larger filters you can get for household use as well.
3. Clothing — Store up blankets, quilts, hats, scarves, gloves and wrap up! If you have a small tent, set that up in your home, it can really make a difference in a power grid down situation with freezing weather. Sleeping bags would also be great to use, especially inside that tent!
I live in Georgia so it’s rare that we get that kind of weather event, but I still have all of these things ready just in case. I’m old enough to remember the Blizzard of March 1993 in Atlanta. Remember that one?! Talk about a lesson learned!
4. Driving — OK I have talked about this one before but it is SO important. If you are not experienced with driving in snow, please just stay home. Even if you are experienced and confident driving during this type of event, I would still recommend that you stay at home unless it is a dire emergency. You would still be on the road with others who are not so good at this so an additional and more dangerous concern would be other drivers.
Ice — If there is ice, forget about it. Don’t even try it. I don’t care if you have an awesome 4 wheel drive whatever, all wheel drive, front wheel drive, Jeep, Hummer, F-350, you name it. You will end up in the ditch or in a crash. Not worth the risk.
5. Pets — Don’t forget about the pets! If they normally stay outside, please please bring them inside during an event like this. And try to stock up on extra food for them as well. I know they are animals and have fur or lots of hair. They are also domesticated pets! They will not survive something like what we have seen the last week or so in Texas and other states.
6. Community — Let’s look out for our neighbors, especially the elderly or vulnerable. Please consider doing this. Provide temporary shelter, heat, food or water. It will make you feel good. You never know when you will be the one that needs help. Just a small act of kindness in a crisis can make a huge impact on those around us.
Remember that 1993 Blizzard I mentioned? I was just a young dumb newbie home owner at the time. Several of my neighbors helped me saw and carry off fallen trees from my property. Without them I would have been trapped longer and would have had to pay to get them cleared. That left such an impression on me, even after all of these years!
7. Tools — Chain saw, hand saw, ax, shovel, and flashlights come to mind. I do not own a chain saw, but I do have a very good hand saw and cordless reciprocating saw. Other tools to consider include rope, a good knife, tarps and a good ice scraper.
I hope this was helpful. Please let me know in the comments. And please feel free to ask questions!