I'm terrible about these posts. Tuesdays are very busy days for me. I'm at it from dawn 'til dusk basically with carpool and work. I could compose them on Mondays and then auto-post them, but it seems that I never get around to that either. No one would accuse me of being organized.
This week's topic, 10 Ways to Prepare for a Big Storm, is one with which I'm intimately familiar and I happen to have time this week.
Let me preface this list with the idea that it consists mostly of hindsight being 20/20. We've had our share of big storms since we've lived in this house, both winter and summer, and I've changed my habits accordingly. So, it's not necessarily preparedness but readiness at all times. Last year? Tornado warnings at least monthly from New Year's Eve thru Easter. Snow storm and thunder storm outages that have lasted as many as 6 days. Ice storms that have kept us housebound for a week. Storm preparedness? I'm on it.
1. Plug your electronics in every night. Without fail. Phones and i-things have to be charged. Own a car charger and one of those battery charger things with all of the tips you need for all of your electronics. Keep eleventyseven double A batteries on hand as that's what provides the power.
2. Keep flashlights handy. And candles. Duh. And if your kids use the flashlight for some night game or repair behind the entertainment center, nag them until they put them back where you can find them.
3. Buy someone in your household one of those cool wind up radio/power/flashlight things for Christmas or a birthday. Then you'll have it on hand.
4. Make sure one of your house phones is an old rotary or push button kind. Or that you own one. The one I have won't ring when the power's out, but I can use it to call out and check messages.
5. When the toothless guy from the boot heel of your state knocks on your front door each fall to sell you firewood, buy a cord. A fireplace is a very useful thing when the power goes out in January unless you don't have any wood to burn in it.
6. Keep the propane tank for your outside grill full -- they're hard to come by when the power goes out or in the winter. If you have a gas stove, this is moot. I finally just got the gas company to install an outdoor gas grill since I'd opted for the cheapy electric stove that I love unreasonably but the kitchen guy tried to talk me out of. I can make everything from coffee to dinner out there. Even if it's cold outside.
7. Keep a pantry. A good one. Like with dried and canned food. I fix that kind of stuff anyway, but I never want to be in the store when the French Toast people are there (you know, eggs, bread, milk before a storm). And if the storm involves a power outage that lasts more than 24 hours, get ready to cook everything in your freezer. Ice and below freezing temps can help, but really? Stuff starts to thaw by then. Have a party with all those taquitos and frozen blueberries. You'll have to grill them somehow, but that's half the fun. Otherwise, they are a loss.
8. In fact, I've given up on the deep freeze. It's now propped open and unplugged. I hoard food (surprise!) and after two huge losses that resulted from power outages that each lasted a week, I've stopped hoarding frozen stuff. Canned and dried? Game on. But not a ton of frozen. No matter how long the power is out, you can't eat two whole Cracker Barrel hams and 17 frozen bread bowls on top of everything else.
9. Board games and puzzles. Own them. Otherwise you have to talk to each other.
10. Keep your hard liquor cabinet well stocked and up to date. Just saying.