What You Need in a Blizzard
The past two days here have been wicked intense. The weather was downright frightening. The heavy snow coming down at a high rate of 1-3″ an hour mixed with heavy winds was a recipe for a disaster. We made it through most of the first part of the day without power failure. But by dinner time the lights were flashing on and off and then the power went down around 8pm for good. Kids were already in bed so they didn’t notice until they woke up. I had grabbed some more blankets from the linen closet to add to each of their beds. It was going to get really cold overnight.
School had been closed all day Wednesday which made for a long day. The snow didn’t start to really pickup and accumulate until after lunchtime.
It was so cold outside. We were all indoors all day. T.J had gone out in the yard a few times with the dog and to try and save some of our landscaping. T.J.’s phone rang shortly after the kids were in bed and it was our neighbor saying how a HUGE tree limb had fallen down on our hedges that provide a natural fence between the yards. So, he put on his winter gear and headed outside to help remove the limb from between the yards and take down a few more that were dangerously close to falling down. It was at this point the power went out! Now, when I looked out the window to see if they were both ok, all I could see was the LED of their headlamps.
After T.J. finally came inside I put on some more clothes and tried to get sleep! We were hopeful we might wake up to electricity so we figured we would wait out the night before starting chores to get the house semi-running. It was a very long night. I barely slept listening to the snow and wind pound the house. I was so thankful we had cleared a lot of trees the Spring before because they would have been falling all over one side of our house near our deck.
School was cancelled Wednesday night for Thursday.
When the kids woke up I noticed nothing was on. The fridge wasn’t beeping alerting us that power had been restored and it was FREEZING. A quick check of the thermostat read 56 degrees inside! Next we checked the refrigerator. Food was cold, but items in the freezer were starting to thaw. T.J. literally got out of bed, walked down to the laundry room, and geared up for going outside again. I had the kids put on sweatshirts, socks and slippers and started to boil water on the stove for oatmeal. Having a gas fired stove is such a MUST HAVE if you live in New England and have the threat of power outages.
While T.J. was out learning the snow from the driveway I started moving the food from the kitchen refrigerator to the spare refrigerator we keep in the garage. That second fridge was one of the first things we bought when we moved into this house. It has been great for a family of 5 at Costco shopping hauls, parties, and holding all our beverages for summer! Once T.J. had the generator going the fridge in the garage was all set and we wouldn’t have food spoil.
We made a rookie mistake before the power went down and forgot to fill the bathtub with water. This is a critical piece of the equation when you live with well water. No flushing toilets if the power goes down and the well pump isn’t working. Keeping the tub full of water means we can fill the toilet tanks and flush for those certain potty trips! I filled buckets of snow and boiled them down on the stovetop to flush. Not efficient and a big pain in the butt! If it was warm out and we didn’t have the snow I don’t know where we would be finding spare water.
So what do must haves do you need when the power goes down?
We really were not 100% prepared for this storm. It kind of came out of nowhere and we never thought it would escalate like this. With more snow in the forecast coming up Monday I’m headed out today to grab everything on this list that I don’t have stockpiled! I don’t want to be left in the dark again with one small candle, no flashlights with batteries or big jugs of water!