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Topic Make a winter plan Go to previous topic Go to next topic Go to higher level

By mylove On 2010.11.23 09:30
I don't know if anyone has broached this yet, but it occured to me this morning. We in the PacNW have been in the throes of a blizzard since yesterday afternoon, and the wind is still blowing snow sideways outside. I know that we are fairly tame in our weather up here, and that there are areas of the country (like the northeast) that see it much worse.

Everything's cancelled and closed this morning, and while it's nice to be able to sit around in our pj's and drink coffee, there are still four foot snowdrifts in places out there, making travel very challenging. If we had an emergency here at home, I can't imagine how long it would take to either get the car dug out so we could leave, or for medical help to arrive.

Now that winter weather's upon us, does everyone have a good winter emergency plan? Could you weather a couple of days shut in without leaving? Could you cope if the power suddenly shut off? Are there fresh batteries in your flashlights? What about medications? Do you let them run down to a one day supply before refilling? If you need to get to the doctor, do you have a backup person with 4WD that could help?

Not a plug, just a suggestion, but the Red Cross has lots of good information on 'sheltering in place' during winter events. I think it's an important idea to have a clear plan in case of bad weather. Anyone else want to share tips for surviving winter crises?

By karolinakitty On 2010.11.23 10:23
Oh you big city people....did you get your toilet paper, milk and bread????? (you know I'm kidding mylove)

While you are in the throws of a winter blizzard, i sit here in my shorts, windows open and fresh air blowing that awesome fall breeze in my house, BUT... I am prepared.

Down here it is an all season preparedness.
Hurricanes, tornadoes and even the occasional 8" of snow like we had last winter.

Living this far away from anyone you HAVE to be prepared for anything. Even simple thunderstorms cause power outages and we are last on the line.
Generators are a must, for both winter and summer. Living in the low country we are only 75ft above sea level and there are no basements, unless you want a swimming pool there. Pipes are not insulated unless you pay someone to crawl under the house, cause i am not going under with all those snakes and spiders.
Water, enough food for weeks, a 4wheeler,generator, medications, and a chain saw are a must for out here. We also have a 15gal gasoline tanker that is filled to keep 4wheeler and generator running.
We are looking into a Generac generator system, as soon as your power goes out this generator kicks in and feeds the whole house. They range in price from $5k to 40k, depending on the power output you need. Some are run by propane others hold and store electric power through your own grid.
Our roads are dirt and can wash out easily so the 4wheeler or a 4x4 is the only way out if roads get mushed.
Simple first aid kits are all over the place.
I took a simple plastic,see-through, waterproof, backpack, plastic see-through fishing tackle boxes and made up several. One for the van, truck, boat and 2 in the house. They are fairly easy and cheap to put together and are great. They include:a small throw blanket, bath towel and washrag, rags and med kit. The med kit includes: hydrocortisone cream, neosporin, ibuprofen, tylenol, benadryl, immodium,gauze, bandages, an elastic bandage(wrap), tweezers,scissors,nail clippers and i think that's it. I bought all store name brands or generics and saved $$ that way.

One rule we stuck by, when i lived up north was always keeping my vehicle gas tank filled over 1/2 tank for winter, and it saved my butt more than once. Salt and sand was another priority for the car as well as the house.
I would hope that those who are unable to do their own shoveling or snow-blowing would have someone in place so that would be one less burden......

Those on medicare have a problem with excess meds. They allow only 1 week for extras if purchased from your local pharmacy. This leads me to another vent on big business, which I'll limit here. Why is it you can get 3 months from a mail order pharmacy but you can only get 1 month plus 1 week vacation from your local pharmacy, so unjust. It only hurts the little guy........
Ok .. that's my 2 cents... i believe i covered all our issues for our area......

By Emma On 2010.11.23 10:58
Good reminder!

We live in a lakeshore area in Michigan so bad winters are par for the course here, lots of lake effect snow. Emergency crews here are prepared for blizzards so that's not much of an issue. I have a 4WD vehicle which I consider absolutely necessary. We're in a condo complex and I do grocery runs for the neighbors during times of heavy snow. Before winter I always stock up on bottled water and canned and dried food that we could eat without heating if we had to. Dry cereal, evaporated milk, canned beans and fruit, canned tuna and chicken, beef jerky, crackers, etc. will keep you from starving or dehydrating. We have been known to stick cold food in snow banks as well and we've used our charcoal grill either outside or in the garage. I make it a point to always have at least two weeks supply of medications on hand. We do use a mail order pharmacy and our drugs are covered by insurance through my former employer, not a Medicare part D, which makes things easier. We also keep an emergency kit with flashlights, candles and first aid supplies as well as copies of our emergency medical information (phone numbers, names of doctors, medications, allergies, powes of attorney,etc.). The only other thing I can think of is that we keep lots of sweats, long underwear and blankets on hand.

By MJ-Camano On 2010.11.23 12:00
Mylove- We live in the Pac NW also and yes I am now prepared. It's strange the things we don't think about until it is upon us: Our power went out for 7 hours last week (at night.) We lit candles and found flashlights, etc. I had one battery powered lantern that put off the most light. When putting my husband to bed we needed to keep a light in his room so used the lantern as it was safest. We now have two lanterns and lots of batteries as candles just won't do. Now we have lots of snow and roads are closed, thank goodness I have family around with four-wheel vehicles and the fire dept/medics are only 2-3 miles away. Our heat was off for two days also in the freezing weather; good thing the oven worked so we had a couple of roasted dinners and I cleaned the oven - this kept the house warm. Strange - my husband used to be always cold; now he hardly ever complains about cold and when the heat was off he sat in a chair without a sweater - we kept covering him up with a blanket. I wonder if the PD changes his feeling of the cold & heat? Anyway, I agree - we must be prepared.....

By karolinakitty On 2010.11.23 12:19
Oh yeah Emma ... the gas grill... i forgot about that.... everything down here is electric so we have the grill plus 3 tanks.
Also they make an attachment for the propane tanks that is a heating unit. Most of our indoor flea markets down here have no heat, so on those cold days many folks use these heaters that attach to the top of the tank. i never noticed any fumes from them and would think it was safer than kerosene.

By overwhelmedinFL On 2010.11.23 13:22
We don't deal with that much in FL here but I just had an idea about ice!

Many of my jogging friends that live up north use something called Yak Trax on their running shoes during the icy winter months.

Might be a good investment for anyone that is at risk to slip.

They are to shoes what chains to do tires.

By Emma On 2010.11.23 15:17
I thought that YakTraks were a good idea too so I got some for my husband a couple of years ago. We found that the problem with them is that you have to be able to pick your feet up when you walk. Someone who shuffles ends up with their feet stuck in place and their body propels forward. Just a word of warning for the shufflers out there.

By parkinit On 2010.11.24 09:35
One item we aren't without during snow and ice storms here in the central part of the States is a piece of carpet. You can slide it under your tires where they may not be gripping and they go right over the carpet. This is a handy, portable piece of equipment that has helped me get out of a "stuck" situation several times.

By susger8 On 2010.11.24 11:49
Parkinit, I've never tried the carpet trick, but it's a great idea. I will get a piece to put in my trunk.


By LOHENGR1N On 2010.11.24 14:51
When I read this thread and came to the "ice grippers" for shoes, I was going to mention they give me too much traction at times. Glad Emma brought that up, as shuffling gait is often present with Parkinson's.

A good thing to have in trunk of car in winter (esp. in snow belt states) is a shovel, they sell smaller ones for this purpose. Sometimes the old pail of sand or rock salt, carpet strip or broken branches won't work and you just have to dig out around the tires. Could come in handy sometime. Take care, best of luck and hang in there. Hope everyone's turkey day is the best it can be.

By overwhelmedinFL On 2010.12.04 15:46
Very good point about the yaktrax... what was I thinking? I know mom's right leg is so bad sometimes I am picking it up and moving it for her. Sometimes it's next to impossible to even get her to shift her weight off of it.

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