Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Snow Day Prep

I used to be that person - the one who watched the weather constantly and panicked at the slightest news of a storm. I ran to the store, stocking up with more food than anyone could possibly eat in the duration of a storm. I would think of the worst case scenario and struggle to find the basics that could be needed.

Over the past few years, I have educated myself in being prepared for different situations and now approach a storm in a different way. I still take a look at worse case scenarios, but without the unnecessary spending, panic or anxiety.

It is fortunate that I work for a great company - so if we have a storm like today's, I have the opportunity to take the day off completely and not deal with the bus and the difficult commute. Getting to work is not usually the issue, but if getting home looks questionable, I plan a vacation day off.

In storms, as in life, there are only a few absolute needs:  shelter, security, warmth, food, water, communication, light and peace of mind.  So, the worst case scenario for us in winter would be to lose power.

The mental checklist I go through is the same general way we live day to day:

Communication: I make sure everything is charged: radios, flashlights, batteries, solar lights, phones, iPad, etc.

Shelter/Security:  Our home is taken care of and maintained and is a safe place to live.

Warmth:  We have a wood stove that heats, cooks and if necessary, will boil water should the power go out and water heater shuts off. So the only prep for the bulk of our needs, is a good supply of kindling and wood brought into the house.

Water:  There are always a few cases of bottled water in the basement for use, or for emergency. We also have a few bottles of tap water than can be boiled for washing.

Food: We have a variety of fresh and stored foods that can easily be cooked - the same way we cook every day

Light: we have several sets of solar lights - used during the holidays - and always charged for night lights and for the rare situation of a power outage

General:  I also throw in a load of laundry to be sure clothes are clean and make sure dishes are washed. Rob brings in enough fire wood for a few days.

Paring down our stuff, knowing where everything is in our home, and being generally prepared for life, not just the storms, creates a peace of mind for me.

There is only one thing left to do - enjoy my day off and relax =)

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