Each year northern Utah shows that we really do have 4 seasons. Sometimes I think we might have more (mud season, anyone?).
Last week we returned to work with our magic wands and our expectations were to ship like crazy to get orders out the door. We did just that – on our first day back. All day the snow fell and we were under a severe storm warning. When UPS picked up we filled his truck and a backup truck was called. We waited for pickup #2 and looked at the skies. Our roads were becoming covered and there was no break on the horizon. Our expected week back was looking pretty frightening. On Wednesday some schools were closed and roads were horrible. Our road crews asked that if it was not required to be out on the roads to, please, stay home. MMS called a snow day. Our team of people is our most important asset and we could not risk having them out on the roads. The snow fell all day Wednesday. It took 8 hours to clear the driveway from house to barn. We never left our home.
Thursday came and people were still digging out with the new snow, more schools were closed! The weather had us in hunker down mode. As we commented on social media to our friends of the time spent digging out the panic that set in was obvious. They wondered if we had food, water, heat, or if we were going to die. I have lived in the western USA for my whole life. I can’t grocery shop every day so I have learned it is always wise to have a backup plan. We had milk, eggs and cheese in the refrigerator. We made nachos for lunch and bread to fill the bread drawer. We made cookies and soup. We built a fire in the fireplace and put a kettle of water on. The dogs went in and out all day long. I really mean it. We let the dogs out, then let the dogs in. We were on continuous repeat! When the dogs finally could not play any longer they slept by the fire. By the time we hit this point the dogs had snow up to their tails and it no longer required lifting a leg to wee-wee, the snow was up past the exit point!
Following this heavy snow we went right to arctic temperatures. We measured -26°F at home and gusts of wind up to 40 miles per hour. Bitter cold and wind are a damaging combination. On Friday we could get to work but more schools were closed and the temperatures were so low that diesel fuel was congealing left and right! Trucks were stranded on the roads and buses were not moving from their storage spots, even our mass transit buses were closed.
What I wanted to share with you is that we never know when an emergency will happen. Even the weather forecasts could not predict how long or how harsh the storm would be. We have really good forecasts but being prepared is more important than just watching the weather predictions! From the heavy wind and cold temperatures we rocketed right up to 49°F with rain. RAIN! If people weren’t still aching from digging out snow we were going to be sore after redirecting water. Sandbagging is hard work and teams throughout the county made bags and stacked to prevent water from entering areas where it is unwanted. The sheriff’s office put out a call to get sandbags made and put in place before the warm temperatures arrived.
The point of my blog today is to not let your food stores get too low. If you must hunker down for a week can you feed everyone that lives under your roof? If you have water pipes prone to freezing then make sure they get heat tapes and insulation wraps. If you have equipment that can’t stop running (medical devices, water pumps, etc) then you need a battery backup or generator system. Some of these systems are very reasonably priced and they are installed to make the transition from power company to self sufficient a seamless one.
If you don’t have a spot in your home to call a food storage room then find ways to store foods in everyday spaces. Side tables have long been covered with table cloths to disguise storage of rice and other bulk purchases. Don’t let your car get below half full on the fuel tank and make sure you can power your phone for hours. You need a way to check in on your community.
And remember, the road crews are serious when they say “If you don’t NEED to go out then stay home.” Let’s make 2017 to year for working on NEEDS.
Blog giveaway! I want to reduce the extras on my shelf so if you would like a goodie box from us then please give a comment on this blog about how to prepare for hunkering down. We will send goodie boxes to those who have suggestions! Having a well stocked shelf for making soap is also important!! Don’t get caught with your bar count down.