Sunday, March 9, 2008

Blizzard of 2008, part deux

Still digging out from the blizzard, but things are getting back to normal.

Some things that came up, in no particular order.

  • Have a snow shovel.
    Seriously, I didn't think anyone around here didn't have at least one, but two people I talked to didn't have so much as a garden trowel. Even if you live in an apartment complex with snow removal service there's still walkways and piles of snow left over from plowing. Without tools you don't have many options.

  • Good boots.
    When I first started shoveling and trekking out to walk the dog I was using an older pair of boots with worn out tread; the same boots I use for yard work. I slipped and slid around quite a bit, so I broke out another pair.
    The second pair is a bit larger than normal to encourage blood flow and thereby discourage frostbite and has a decent rubber tread.

  • Wear layers.
    Last year I picked up some polar fleece thermals. Worn under shirt and pants they provide good insulation. With a hooded sweat shirt, jacket and gloves being overheated is more of a concern than freezing. Remember also that exposed skin + wind = frostbite. Cover as much of yourself as possible if you have to be outside. Ski masks aren't just for robbing convenience stores.

  • Know your vehicle's ground clearance.
    While out and about, I saw three people stuck in the snow and helped two of them ( the third was pushed free before I got to them ). In the two cases I helped in, the drivers were attempting to get through an intersection with about 6 to 10 inches ( 15.24 to 25.4 cm ) of snow and slush. The slowed down to make the turn, stopped and got stuck. Me and some other guys who showed up to help dug out the wheels as best we could, then "rocked" the cars out. The driver puts it in reverse with guys pushing from the front, gives it some gas, then the process is reversed until the car is freed. One of the two cars I helped had 4 wheel drive, yet was still stuck in the snow since the snow was higher than the wheels.

  • Have alternative Heat Sources.
    The power, water and gas all stayed on so we had it easy. That said, I have an indoor rated propane heater that the girlfriend enjoys bringing out to warm up after being outside. With a few cases of propane we could have kept warm even if the power went out; might not even have had to use the fireplace.

  • Keep food supplies on hand.
    I tend to keep dried legumes, rice, beans, quinoa, flour, cooking oil and canned goods on hand. By buying a bit more than I need and stocking the rest I've got a food supply for when I can't get to the store. I've also a propane stove ( which takes the same cylinders as the heater ) for times when I can't cook in the kitchen. I also keep extra coffee and tea on hand.


Illicit Dreams said...

It's surprising how many folks don't even have minor stuff on hand.

Many folks live paycheck to paycheck, they don't think about buying a little extra to put back for a rainy day.

While I'm still not as prepared as I'd like to be I'm still better off than 99% of the population in Columbus.

Rus said...

I hear ya.

It doesn't take much. An off-brand bag of rice with every trip to the grocery, a few cans of spam and you're ahead of the game that much more.

I hardly qualify as an extra on Survivorman myself, but it's something.