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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I Jumped The Gun!

Well, it looks like I kinda jumped the gun talking about getting ready for spring and tornado season when we were issued another Winter Storm Watch yesterday, advising us that another bad storm is expected in here on Thursday!

I was all set to be done with ice and snow! I'm already thinking gardens, spring and sunshine!

If you live in the South and Midwest and are expecting more bad winter weather, are you prepared?  Some of your preparations would be similar to having your "safe place" ready for tornado season but lets go over some additional preparations that you need to consider if there is lots of ice and snow!

Loss of Power of course is one of the main things you have to worry about with ice not only accumulating on streets underneath snow and making for hazardous driving conditions, but ice accumulating on powerlines which can snap and break under the sheer weight of the ice or because they are no longer flexible and have ability to sway in high winds. Several years ago we had a horrible winter ice storm. I had friends up in Tulsa who were without power for approximately two weeks. Luckily they had both a fireplace and were able to borrow a generator about 4 days after the storm hit.

Frozen water pipes in another worry. On those outside pipes, your water spikets for hooking up your garden hose, if you don't have any of those fancy "bonnets" made of styrafoam to put over them, at least wrap them in newspaper and hold it in place with some type of tape.  If your water heater is out in the garage, it would also be a good idea to have an insulation blanket around it.

Inside faucets and outlet pipes that are on exterior walls are also prone to freezing. Dripping BOTH the hot and cold faucets and opening up the cabinet doors underneath that area to circulate warm house air will help eliminate this problem.

Food, Water and Medicines are also important to have on hand in case you are stuck inside for several days unable to get to a store. If you are without power, you will need items that you can eat cold right out of the can. Now of course if you are like me, this is when you are craving a nice big bowl of hot soup or chili and you have to settle for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich! If you have no way to cook anything, as in my case if I lose power, I am out of luck. You might see if you can't find a couple cans of "sterno" and use some light weight aluminum pans to try and heat things up in. But please, don't try to fire up the bar-b-q grill indoors!

Pets will also need to have protection from the elements if they are outside animals. Be sure that they have shelter to get to, warm bedding to snuggle into, plenty of food and fresh water. I know that many farmers use heating elements to keep the water flowing and not iced over. Little animals (especially cats and dogs) probably should be brought inside or if not into the house into some type of heated area if the temperatures are going to be prolonged periods of below freezing weather.

Check your neighbors, especially those that are elderly. Hopefully you will have phone service and can give them a call. If not, you might be able to venture out across the street or next door to check on them if they are living close by.

So now I batten down the hatches, in preparation for possible ice and snow with blowing winds to arrive over night tomorrow and be hanging around for a couple of days! I will curl up under a warm blanket with that  seed and flower catalog and dream of spring and that new garden I plan to put in.

Stay safe and warm everyone!

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