Blizzard Conditions: Getting Prepared To Spend A Full Day Inside
First things first- When the nice man or woman, on the Weather Channel says that you are expecting a winter storm complete with two to three feet of snow, plan on no plans. Don't think you will be getting to work, a friends house, or even to the grocery store for that matter. In fact, IF you would be required to be at work because you are a first responder of some kind, then you best be making plans far in advance about where you plan on staying, to make it into work at all.
Outside the sliding glass door in my bedroom, I am looking at almost 4 feet of freshly fallen snow, and it is still coming down hard. Yes, my condo association has a parking lot plow service, and yes, I did put my windshield wipers up and back my car into it's spot. The answer to if I would be able to exit my house right now, and get to the store if my life depended on it, is a big fat NO. For that reason, I am thanking my lucky stars that I took our local meteorologist seriously, about a severe winter storm tomorrow, because I am set for the day and don't need anything of the outside world.
In creating my stuck at home storm preparation list, I relied on my past experiences being stuck in my dorm room or apartment up at Plymouth State during severe winter storms, because my hometown usually doesn't get hit this hard. My dad and sister looked at me funny when I came home with bags of random goodies for our survival pack, but I know snow from my time up at Plymouth, and it sucks not being able to leave the house at all for a full day.
These are just some of my winter storm survival suggestions, you can take them or leave them as you please, but they've never done me wrong!
- For obvious consumption reasons.
- Drinking for longterm back up if necessary.
- I am not even that big a fan of water, but it is always the number one necessity listed on survival guide lists, so I listed it and bought some too.
- Entertainment source if the power stays on.
- Entertainment source if the power goes out.
- Source of light if the power goes out.
- If you are lucky enough, as we are, to have a real fireplace, this is a great back up source of heat if you lose electricity and your heat source if electric based.
Full Tank of Gas-
- In case of absolute emergency, and heating source failure, and you need a few 20 minute sessions sitting in a heated car.
- I am a Mocha Iced Coffee fiend... there is just something about chocolate first thing in the morning that I get off on. Heads up, you won't be making your Dunks or Starbucks run the day of the storm. For any coffee fiend such as myself, make sure you have your coffee, creamer, sugar blend essentials at home with you. I personally made sure that I stocked my fridge with a large mocha 'Starbucks Frappuccino' for this morning.
Hot Hands Hand Warmers-
- I hate being cold. If the heat goes, which i've lived through once or twice, I am a cranky lady. These little beauties pack a powerfully potent punch of heat for your fingers or toes... or mid drift area if you also sometimes throw 2 in the front pouch pocket of a hoodie.
- Make sure you have plenty of warm gear at home to keep everyone in the house in temperature safe conditions.
Cereal, Milk and Lots of Non Cook Food Items
- For me, I just can't cook, that's why this stuff is so epically important to my survival.
- If you lose electricity, milk can be easily kept at consumption safe temperatures by placing it outside, and has no appeal for wildlife to tamper with. Milk and cereal are a perfect meal anytime of day. Also, make sure you have a non-electric can opener and some non-cook food you can eat.
Yep. She's a Blizzard! Talking Juno.
Know What To Expect
There's a difference between freezing rain and sleet? I guess so. If you are like me, and not as weather savvy as you pretend to be, you fill in your missing facts with assumptions. I decided to educate myself on some of the spiffy terminology and included some basic definitions below.
"Freezing Rain - Rain that freezes when it hits the ground, creating a coating of ice on roads, walkways, trees and power lines.
Sleet - Rain that turns to ice pellets before reaching the ground. Sleet also causes moisture on roads to freeze and become slippery.
Winter Weather Advisory - Winter weather conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences and may be hazardous. When caution is used, these situations should not be life threatening.
Winter Storm Watch - A winter storm is possible in your area. Tune in to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for more information.
Winter Storm Warning - A winter storm is occurring or will soon occur in your area.
Blizzard Warning - Sustained winds or frequent gusts to 35 miles per hour or greater and considerable amounts of falling or blowing snow (reducing visibility to less than a quarter mile) are expected to prevail for a period of three hours or longer.
Frost/Freeze Warning - Below freezing temperatures are expected. "
These terms and definitions were directly quoted from the Federal Emergency Management Agency's informational page about winter storms. Feel free to visit the website for yourself, as I would suggest becoming familiar with all of their suggested best practices.