A weather disaster could turn that Wisconsin Winter Wonderland in to a true nightmare!!!
Superstorm Sandy showed just how truly unprepared 75 percent of the nation is when it comes to the weather causing them problems. I was watching the news and saw how many places will be without power for about a week. We here in Wisconsin consider an hour without power an inconvenience. Can you fathom a week without power? Last night's low was 25 degrees here.
Many people are totally unprepared and a emergency of the magnitude of Sandy would be more than they could handle. Below are some tips I got from friends and tips of mine. An ounce of prevention is worth a ton of cure.
Many of you have been without power here in Wisconsin from ice storms through the years. Just picture a -10 degree day in your home without power? Some folks have auxiliary generators they have hooked in to their power supply already. They kick in when there is an outage automatically. I priced some of the more expensive ones and they are out of my price range at an eye popping 4,000 dollars plus the cost to get them wired in to your home. These bigger ones run on many different kinds of fuel. I have seen the lines on television to fuel up generators on the east coast due to this disaster. The small generators go for around 600 dollars and still need a electrician to hook it up for the common home owner.
I walled up the fireplace in our house years ago. Now, my wife and I have decided that it is time to open up the fireplace again. I have a call out to a carpenter/contractor to come to my home and access my fireplace and chimney piping and make it safe for use again. Many of my friends have wood stoves and they are the cat's meow. A little extra wood in the yard for just the time I have explained would be optimal.
Then there comes eating!! Have some canned food set aside for just this unexpected crisis. Make sure not to get the easy open type of cans; they can freeze and break their seals and be worthless. Pay close attention to eat by dates on your stores of food. Keep them current. A mechanical can opener is needed also. What are you going to heat that food up on? There are many inexpensive camp stoves to use. Pay close attention to the type of stoves you use. Many might poison you with the fumes. Cooking outside may be in order.
Always have a couple cases of water for this nasty situation. Most bottled water is in plastic these days. If the electricity is out make sure you put your water in a place it will not freeze. If push comes to shove and you need water you can empty out the contents of your hot water heater and drink that water.
Always have a functional first aid kit in your house. Don't use it unless it is a true emergency. This kit should be a little more extensive than the common first aid kit you have for every day cuts and bruises. Right alongside that first aid kit you should put a functional flashlight for every member of the family and also a back up set of flashlights at another predetermined permanent place in your home. You should also have several candles and matches in a waterproof container.
You should have an evacuation plan for your home. It sounds silly but you should practice an evacuation once a year. You should have a outside meeting place designated. You should also have a general meeting place if you are blocked off from going to your home.
Living in Wisconsin, owning an extreme weather outfit is a must. You should have it easily at hand. Many Army Surplus stores have extreme weather gear for reasonable prices. I recommend boots called Mickey Mouse boots. There are waterproof and keep you feet warm down to -10 degrees. While you are there, try on some parkas and cold weather bib-overalls. They have excellent cold weather mittens there too. You cold buy all of this at lots of other stores but I am kind of cheap and this would be my choice. The surplus stores also have sterno warming devices for food and good rain gear.
I might sound like I am a little of a fear monger here, but if you need supplies and don't have them you will feel helpless. An ounce of prevention please. Be a responsible adult and safe guard your family!
When you arise in the morning, think of what a
precious privilege it is to be alive - to breathe, to think,
to enjoy, to love.
- Marcus Aurelius