Monday, January 31, 2011

"Everything" Storm coming! Be Prepared for Ice!

The Maple outside of our house
There's nothing more important today than making sure that we all have at least the basic things that will keep us safe, warm and functioning with the coming storm.

It seems to me that Philadephians are getting hardened to snow storms - but, and this is a big but, Ice is a whole different experience, and it has the potential to do some serious damage.

Please be sure that you have working flashlights, a battery driven radio of some kind (there's probably an old Boom Box in a closet somewhere!), and some candles and matches and magic matches at the ready.  Also, consider what systems in your household would be affected by any power loss.  For example, in our home, we know that we will be able to manually light our burners to cook, but our oven definitely won't work because it's an electrical ignition that starts it, even though it's gas.  What kind of heat do you have?  If your heater is driven by a fan, you will lose heat.  And of course, if you have electric heat, you will also lose heat.  If you have a working fireplace, now is the time to be sure that you have, not only wood or duraflames or whatever, but also kindling to get fires started.  And be sure that your flue is clean and open!
Many of us have "put up" food products - and for many of us a good deal of that putting up is freezing.  Freezers will mainly be OK for a couple of days if they are well packed and if they are not opened.  The same is true of the refrigerator of course.  We are considering a big cooler out on the deck filled with water, juices, and some foodstuffs, just in case.  That way we will have access to some refrigerated items without having to open the 'fridge.
Take notice of the power and cable lines around your house - we live in the city, they are everywhere - know where the ones around your house are.  Ice has major impact on power lines; we lose power when they come down, but falling down doesn't necessarily mean that they have lost power.
If you share your life with dogs, and the world becomes encased in ice, you do have a challenge when your buddy has to go out.  Keep sand, and/or dog friendly ice melt near the front door and sprinkle it liberally to at least get out the door with the dog.  You know, during these times, it is how well you trained your dog that will come back to bite you.  We tried through another ice storm to get our dogs to go to the bathroom out in our back yard.  Of course, using our beloved back yard as a doggie bathroom is usually a big no-no.  And it remained that way in the ice!!  And so we slid! 
If you feed the birds in your area, now would be a good time to get some extra seed out there so that they can feast a bit.  They have a very hard time when everything is frozen over.

Lastly, one of the great things about living in the city is having neighbors close by.  Neighbors who we know and talk to!  Keep your eye on the others on your block or neighborhood - especially older folks and those who live alone.  It is a good time to reinforce the city practice of looking out for each other!

Expect limitations.  Understand that some things will be canceled and delayed - and that's fine and they should be.  Be safe!


  1. Were you a Girl scout? So prepared!

  2. Yes, I was! Along with my OCD, it's a great combo for these sorts of situations! :)