Ducks 'n a Row: Blizzards - Preparing For A Blockbuster Winter Storm

25 January 2015

Blizzards - Preparing For A Blockbuster Winter Storm

By Sinea Pies

Have you ever been in a blizzard? A blizzard is a super-sized winter storm where tons of snow falls in record time with high winds accompanying it. Visibility is less than zero at times. Travel hazadous to impossible. It can be an exciting and frightening experience, all rolled into one. 

On today's news a huge blizzard is barreling toward the east coast of the US. As much as 3 feet of snow is expected with 56 mph winds. But how do you prepare for such a threat? Believe me, you MUST be prepared. There is no telling how long you may be house-bound and what conditions may accompany it. What if you lose power? There goes the heat, as well. Planning and prayer, that is the approach I recommend. Do what you can do and look toward heaven for the what you cannot do.

I have been in two true blizzards. The one in 1966 snowed us in for literally 2 weeks. I was a little girl and, when you are little, everything seemed extra big. When they finally did get our streets cleared, each side of the street was a mountain of snow and ice piled high. 

Prior to the dig-out, some families had to crawl out of second story windows to get outside. You really didn't want to be outside, though. It was easy to sink waist-deep into the snow and very hard to get out. We finally had to walk to the local market to get staples of life: eggs, milk, bread. Mom called ahead to see if they were open and had any food left. We brought a sled pulled by a Saint Bernard. The walk was leg aching for us all. The dads and the kids went. I never wanted to do that again!

In that same 1966 blizzard, my husband's family saved the life of a neighbor. He had run out of insulin. They called the pharmacist of the local drugstore and he couldn't get out to help them. He told them to break in. So they took a snowmobile and rammed it through the plate glass window. He told them where to find the insulin and they literally saved the man's life.

What about you? 
Got any storm stories to tell? 

For those who are anticipating a close encounter with a winter storm, here are some thoughts on what to do to get ready. 


For flashlights, camping lamps and radios.

Plenty of warm blankets can come in handy!

Candles & Matches
For power outages and starting fires in your fireplace.

Cancel It!
Cancel appointments, travel plans etc. If you have a job where you can work from home, make sure you have what you need. Otherwise, know that no one will be at work on the day of a blizzard. You DO NOT want to be on the road. That is no place to be in a storm and, sadly, some people never make it home. Be smart and play it safe. Bosses, do your employees a favor and close work long ahead of time. 

Cell Phones 
Charge your cells now, before the storm hits. 

Warm Clothes
Extra warm socks, hats and gloves. 
You may need them indoors if you lose heat or electricity.

Firewood / Firestarters
If you have a wood burning stove or fireplace, these are good supplies to have on hand. 

Flashlights / Radios  

First Aid Kit

Food / Water
Be ready to prepare food without the use of a stove, just in case you have to. Get plenty of pet food for your animals, as well. Bottled water is a plus during short-term water safety concerns.

Get extra gas for your vehicles, snow-blower and generator, if you have one.

Use it safely! Make sure it is well ventilated. Shovel around it to prevent carbon monoxide from entering your home. Safety Tips by The Red Cross: How To Use a Generator Safely
In addition to flashlights, battery powered camping lights are a great addition to your supplies list.
Loved Ones
Check on your loved ones to be sure that they are prepared. Are they elderly, babies or ill? It may be a good idea for them to come stay with you until the storm is over. Secure their safety.

If anyone in your family requires specific medication, have plenty of it on hand. A few days in a storm can become weeks. You never know. Better to be safe than sorry. 
Keep your pets inside. Be sure that you have everything they will need to be happy and safe, too: food, meds, toys, dog bones, kitty litter etc. Be prepared to clear an area for your dog to go out to go potty. Do not leave him outside. Stand right there and get him back indoors immediately after he goes. Another alternative: a wee-wee pad.
Snow Shovels, Snow Blowers and Pet-Safe Snow Melter
In a big storm, their usefulness is limited. Remember that heroic efforts to dig out may become an emergency in themselves. Many a person has had a heart attack from too much shoveling. Be smart. Wait for help to come. If you have a snow blower, use it wisely.  Snow Blower Safety Tips by Consumer Reports.  

Things To Do
The excitement of a storm gets old really fast, especially if you have young children. Family games that don't require electricity are good to have on hand. Books, deck of cards, board games, coloring books, crayons, puzzles, Legos -- there are lots of possibilities. Plan ahead.

What else can you do to prepare for a blizzard? Share your thoughts and storm stories with us in the comments!

   Good advice here?

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 Note: this author is an Amazon affiliate. Anything purchased from Amazon through Ducks' n a Row will result in a small commission for me. In advance, "thanks!" ...Sinea
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