I woke up this morning feeling all warn and toasty till I climbed out of the bed. It was a little chilly in the house, so I grabbed the throw blanket off the couch and mosied over to the weather station. Why I do this I don't know, it's like I need modern technology to confirm my feeling of being hot or cold! The weather station read 58° indoor and 44° outside. Technically, this temp qualifies us to turn the heat on or start a fire in the rules and regulations of our self imposed Freeze Yer Buns Challenge 2011-2012.
So I took my blanket and sat down at the computer for a little surfing and what was the first story I came across? Millions left without power and several deaths attributed to rare October snow. What? Rare October snow?!? Where? Maybe here! I run and look out our window and then the ferries pop me in the head and remind me I live in the devils pocket here in the south! It couldn't possible snow till say ... who really knows anymore. So I'm left with my "Prepper" wheels turning. If our friends from Virginia to Massachusetts (who normally get a ton of snow) are caught unprepared for this type of event what can we do to possibly prepare ourselves for a tough winter.
Here are a few things I came up with for the average family who traditionally does not worry about things like this, but wants to cover their bases this winter.
- If you have a fireplace have at least 3-5 days worth of DRY wood available even if you don't normally use your fireplace. If you're not familiar with fire starting, have some type of fire starter logs to help start it and keep it going. If the power is out you will want some way to warm the house. Even if you have a gas furnace the blower won't run.
- If you don't have a fireplace and there is no power for a period of time you should have enough heavy blankets for each person in the household.
- If you are lucky enough to have a generator (you know who you are /e sticks tongue out at him) have enough gas to run it for 3-5 days. This part is very important! What good is this recourse if you can't get the gas to run it.
- Have a full tank of propane for your gas grill. If you don't have a gas grill you should have at least one or two large bags of charcoal. Not only can you cook this way you can heat water for bathing of little ones.
- Have two or three preplanned hot meals in the pantry that can help keep the family warm. Soups, chili, casseroles, etc.
- Water, Water, Water. Did I mention Water? If you have no power or it's extremely cold, it's only a mater of time till the pipes freeze. Bare subsistence calls for at least two gallons per person per day. This amount is what you will drink, cook with, and use for personal hygiene. If you are like me and either can't afford or don't want a huge drum of water in the garage then at least start saving your empty plastic soda or juice bottles. Fill and prepare them for storage before there is an emergency.
- For those of you who have little ones still in diapers or Pull-Ups you should have at least one spare package that you don't touch till you are ready to move to the next size. There is nothing more nerve racking than bad weather and a little one who is low on diapers! The same goes for formula.
- Serve hot drinks, whether it's hot chocolate or coffee, broth, soups, etc.. This is a easy way to keep little ones warm and still get a little food into them. You can easily heat these things on a gas or charcoal grill if need be.