Winter Warning! Did You Hear It?

I’ve blogged about this now 3 times and well; apparently we are still experiencing it and sometimes we can all use a reminder.

It’s hard to imagine thinking about winter when it’s 100 degrees out; but the past couple of days in most parts of the US have proven that winter is still here. It’s hard to think about anything other than relaxing by the pool with a nice umbrella drink in hand.

It was reported back in August that winter 2013 will be the worst on record. Hmm…… worse than what? I guess worse than what we have known in this lifetime. Sure many times the weather reports are simply wrong; but let’s in this case they are right and it happens to hit a city near you; what would you do? We are seeing this play out without a doubt?

It got me thinking to say the least. How prepared am I? In Colorado where I grew up things were different in that winter came and everyone was prepared. It was just life. People had gardens and the crops were canned for winter. It was life. The blizzards of 1982 was one such example. It came on Christmas Eve. It’s not one people soon forget. The other ones that people still talk about are 1997 where in Coal Creek Canyon 56″ of snow was reported in less than 12 hours. In 2003 people were snowed in for at minimum 5 days. Because some cities outlawed driving people skied to the nearest grocery store; before everything was shut down. How ingenious right? Or stupid that the grocery workers were still there but I digress.

At least in Denver people have 4-wheel drive vehicles. In most cities across America; people aren’t equipped for such weather as snow and ice; or even cold. The city workers aren’t either so a weather related storm can definitely wreck havoc without a doubt. I need to make sure I am prepared for whatever comes this winter. How about you?

In reflection of a few things that would be necessary for survival is one that has thinking I need to step up my game. The grocery stores only have supplies for three days. Three days! What if the weather is so bad that the power is out longer than that? What if the weather is so bad that the trucks can’t even get to your city to deliver the products you need? What then would you do? It occurs to me that there are some things I need to take care of. It’s not like I will be able to just use my cell phone and order pizza.

A few things to think about to be prepared are:

1- Water. Of course everyone needs water so this goes without say. If you start now stocking up on water then you are set for drinking but what about the rest of your life? What about showering, cooking, or anything else. Don’t you need to be able to flush the toilet so you may need more water? If you have the drinking water do you really want to pour that down the toilet? The large blue containers you can fill up with a few gallons of tap water and then store them in the garage so you have something. You wouldn’t want to store your drinking water in the heat in the garage as it will only take more like plastic than it already does.

2- Food. Of course you have to eat and because you may not have electricity or know when it will be restored you definitely have to plan. What is your daily food consumption now?  How long will the food in the refrigerator and freezer last? How would you prepare it? I was told years ago to take old water bottles and fill them with water but not all the way full and then store them in the freezer for occasions just like this. Perhaps a few MRE’s and other items should be accounted for before it’s too late. Foods high in protein and require no cooking are the most obvious. Plan for additional foods for the children and infants in your family.  Not only this; how often do people eat out of boredom? Planning now will help you know what you have so your level of irritability won’t be so high.

3- Paper items. Toilet paper, napkins and other items are good to have on hand. Because water supply is limited doing dishes won’t be easy using paper products can serve the purpose. If count for how much toilet paper you use per month then perhaps an extra month supply would be good. Obviously if you are single you use less than a family of five; and that is the last thing you want to run out of. One opened item of anything is never enough!

4- Protection. It’s wise to be able to defend yourself in all seasons. Keeping current with firearms training and having ammunition is just prudent. My CHL is current and being proficient in using it doesn’t take much time out of my life. It’s just one of those things that is no different than taking care of the laundry.

5- Toiletries. As I said before an opened anything is never enough. Are you at the bottom of the shampoo bottle? Last roll of the toothpaste? What then if you run out before the weather clears and your store is restocked. How terrible would it be to not be able to brush your teeth for a few days or weeks?

6- Lighting. Candles of course can work just great; but how many would you need to use for light and warmth? When I look around my town home I see 20ft ceilings which means all the warmth going everyone else except to me. I would need to get creative with where I would spend my time because I obviously don’t want to waste my candles. My personal idea is pretty simple. My bathroom is a decent size and is closed in so it would make the most sense to set up shop in there. I would set up an air mattress in the bathtub and that room would be the warmest with less heat escaping. Sitting on the air mattress also gets me off the floor. Because my dining room, kitchen, living room; and bedroom all have windows using candles simply would be more work. GE sells the LED lanterns that take D batteries so for 20 bucks I have light and with my candles have warmth. Don’t forget the matches or lighters. I have a fireplace that was one thought although the bathroom would still provide better options for longer warmth.

7- Pet food and supplies. You can’t let your pet go hungry now can you? Of course mot! The Olive needs her food too. How much does your pet consume daily? What about flea, tick or heart worm medicine? Having these items on hand will only help you better protect your animal. Perhaps a few extra treats or raw hide bones would serve as a distraction from the situation. You may also think about a dog sweater or sweatshirt. While most with the purse dogs spend more on these items; your lab or Great Dane deserves one too!

8-Prescriptions. While it’s easy to call the pharmacist to place the prescription order on most days; you most likely wouldn’t have phone service to make the call or be able to get to that location to purchase it. Having enough supply on hand is wise as you would have to have your mother or child suffer those consequences!

9- Extra glasses or contacts. If it’s dark and you lose a pair of glasses now you are stuck. Stuck using your light to go search in the cold of the night to find them when if you had an extra pair in an easy to find location you would be just fine. This is one thing on my list without a doubt! I’ve never lost a pair but that doesn’t mean an extra pair wouldn’t be beneficial. I’m also learning that too many things that can be done tomorrow can wreck havoc on it too!

10- Blankets. If you happen to be like many bachelors you may just have your sheet and comforter that you sometimes use; or even perhaps you have the old quilt from someone years ago. Having enough blankets to keep you warm is a definite! If you hold up in one room you can always use one at the base of the door to keep any heat from escaping. My favorite is my down comforter; although I have two other bed sets and numerous other blankets that I have picked up along the way. This one item that can definitely serve it’s purpose. Of course if you have the sleeping bag that you use for those hunting excursions those will work just fine.

11- Generator. Sure you may not want to spare the expense of a few hundred bucks and no one blames you. For those who like to really be prepared it may be the best way to go. While others may be suffering; those with the generators wouldn’t lose any power so perhaps it is something to consider.

While there are many other items to include like salt for the driveway or front steps, sturdy ice scraper; and a prepare mentality this is a good start. More people die in the cold of winter than in the heat summer so why not cool yourself off from that heat of the day today? When that day comes you will be glad you did!