DO NOW…TIME TO GET READY!
At this moment sever winter storms are about to hit the most of the United States. Even states that will not receive snow are expecting temperatures well below average. So far this year the weather has been mild but these should really pack a punch. If you or a loved one lives in the path of storms prepare or extremely cold weather prepare now and help others prepare. Even cold temperatures can cause power outages.
1. Laundry. Do it now. Catch up so you don’t get caught without clean clothes after the power fails. Start the laundry while you work on the rest of the list.
2. Stock up. You should have a three-month supply of food on hand but there are still a few things you may want to get now, bread, fresh fruit, and of course water if you depend on a well and batteries. Eggs will keep without power a few days, milk will not. You may want to get a few boxes of shelf stable milk, chocolate milk, almond milk, even lactose free milk is available, they are perfect for use during an outage. For toddlers and infants cans of evaporated milk, they need the fats and mixed with powdered milk it make a huge difference to the taste.
3. Stock up on non-food items, batteries, prescriptions, over the counter medications, paper plates and cups, paper towels, and of course TP. Prepare now for Christmas.
4. Fuel up the cars. Prepare now for when power is down to pumps and/or credit cards are useless.
5. Fill coolers, pitchers, pots and pans, with water especially if you are on a well. If power goes out so does the well and even water treatment plants can shut down making tap water unsafe to drink. Bathtubs can also be filled, and this water used for flushing and washing.
6. Stock the freezer. Place resealable plastic bags or plastic containers filled 3/4 full with water and use these to fill every empty place in your freezer. Foods stay frozen and will be safe longer in a full freezer and the ice will be safe water to drink and cook with after it melts.
7. Turn the temperature down in the freezer and refrigerator.
8. Cook. Make a few meals that will be easy to heat or that can be eaten cold once power is out or you are busy dealing with the storm.
9. Make a sign now to place on the freezer and fridge: DO NOT OPEN Preserve food longer by leaving doors closed. When you need to get into either make a list before opening so you don’t stand staring trying to figure out what you need.
10. Wash all dishes. You will not want dirty dishes hanging around when water is at a premium.
11. Get a good stash of firewood under cover, close enough to grab without getting chilled or wet.
12. Charge cell phone, iPod and HAM radio. If you lose power or have rolling blackouts you want to stay informed.
13. Place glow sticks and/or flashlights within easy reach in every room.
14. Fill the gas cans so you can run a generator.
15. Fill the propane tanks if you are going to use a camp stove or barbecue as an alternative way to cook.
16. Get cash. If the power is out the ATM and credit cards won't work. Remember all cash should be in small denominations. Nothing over a $20.00 bill. All of mine are $10.00 or smaller. I don't want to over pay because someone doesn't have change.
17. Check your five-day kits (formerly known as 72 hour kits) so they are ready to go with prescriptions, medications, reading glasses, food, water, clothing that fits, hygiene essentials etc. If you don't need to use them you may get a call that they are needed at a shelter.
18. Confirm your out of area contact has all the phone numbers and email addresses of loved ones so they can be contacted.
19. Learn to use the manual release on the garage door if you don’t already know how to do this. In case of a power outage you want to be able to get the car out of the garage as quickly as possible if your home is damaged by the storm or you need to leave for other reasons.
20. Find out which radio and TV stations are part of the emergency broadcast system for your local area. Also find out which stations will handle emergency broadcasts for school emergencies. Some kids are lucky enough to be in school.
21. Prune those trees and bushes. Trees with branches too close to your home may do damage during a storm. Trees that are diseased may fall.
22. Clean out gutters.
23. Make sure your battery operated clock is working and get batteries if not.
24. If you have not done a home inventory take lots of photos around the house. Snow and ice storms can do a lot of damage even caving in roofs.
With a few preparations now the season can be merry and bright no matter what nature brings.