Emergency! Snow! Rain! Wind! Shipping Delays! 12


Mountain Ash berries covered in fresh snow.

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.

May all our readers be safe,

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.

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About Tina

I started thesage.com in 1996 with the help of my husband. Now I get to help people make all kinds of soaps and bath and body products. I think my favorite things to make are lip balms and lotions/creams. Of course I get most of the soap technical support questions because that is my strong knowledge area. Glad this blog is here!


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12 thoughts on “Emergency! Snow! Rain! Wind! Shipping Delays!

  • Megan

    We have electric, but also heat our house through a fireplace insert. In the winter, we always keep a good stock of wood near the back entrance to the house. This has been wonderful for heating when the power goes out. We also keep lots of buckets and jugs of water filled since we are on a well. If the power goes out, then we don’t have water to the house or animals. Some we keep empty and can take down to the creek to fill for our larger animals (or take them down if it’s not too cold and icy). We always keep a good stock of food in the pantry and can even cook in or on the fireplace insert with cast iron.

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  • ddLady

    Several times in the past years we have lost power for up to a day, as well as being snowed in for 3-4. We have a wood burning stove on the first floor that can heat the top 2 floors of our house. We have a big stack of wood on the deck as well as several large piles of wood on the property. 15 gallons of water are always stored in containers, and we can light the gas stove without needing electricity to cook with. Our pantry is always pretty well stocked with basics and non-perishables to last us at least a week I think.

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  • Tina Post author

    We have a covered patio. The snow was falling so heavy and the wind blowing so hard the covered patio is covered in snow!
    Snow accumulation on a covered patio Jan 2017.
    What you can’t see on the patio is a bushel box of apples and the dog beds that are raised up off the ground. These items are all covered in snow!

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  • Beth

    I’m lucky to live in an area that doesn’t tend to experience most of the harsh realities of winter, but we occasionally do get winter weather. Most of us take for granted that our modern conveniences will always be there and ready for us. Unfortunately, most of us never take the time to plan for a possible emergency until it is too late.

    I make sure that we always have plenty of blankets to wrap up in if we lose heat, hand fans in the event we lose cooling in the summer, candles and flashlights to make your way around the house in the dark (and if there isn’t any power in the area, it is much darker than normal) and matches or something else to light a candle. Without power to keep your refrigerator running, you can store food outside but need to worry about animals getting into it. I like to store food in my car if I know the temperature is going to remain low enough.

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  • Casey Stewart

    Horrible conditions but luckily you were prepared. We have been having really bad storms, for Northern California. Nothing as cold as yours, but winds up to 60 miles per hour and lots of rain, which we need very badly. Power outage of 5 hours. We keep flashlights-the rechargeable kind-in each room and know where to find them in an emergency. We have extra blankets and throws in family and living room, so we can bundle up. Several gallons of distilled water for my BiPAP machine can also serve for drinking if our 2 to 3 cases of bottled water should run out. Complete shelf stable meals, canned chili, soups, fruit and veggies, beans, Spam, milk, powdered milk plus powdered cheese, butter, bottled oxygen if my concentrator not available…3 large dogs to help keep us warm, entertained and aware of our many blessings. Cell phones daily charged up and cars with adequate fuel supplies, new windshield wiper fluid each season that also helps prevent frost/fog…all good to go!

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  • Frankie Holt

    Being prepared is always a good idea. We have an older home build ’75, but we have never taken out our fireplace inserts. There have been times here in Utah where we have used them to not only heat our home, but I have cooked on them too. We store food and water and if it gets to where we can’t get around easily, we can always make do until the weather eases up and/or power goes back on.

    It’s reassuring to know that you can be warm and have a full tummy when it’s better to stay home. We live in a beautiful place and we love the changing of the seasons, yes, even the snow! Sometimes it’s fun to just stay home and curl up and read a good book, or look on Majestic Mountain Sage’s blog and try a few new recipes! Thanks for your wonderful products and the blog.

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  • Barb Oswald

    We usually have a kitchen well stocked with staples, and making fresh homemade bread keeps the house warm and smelling good during a Minnesota blizzard. The downstairs freezer also contains at least a dozen meals of homemade soup, chili, stew and pulled pork. Having a gas fireplace means that we can keep the house heated.

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  • Karen

    A generator if you need electricity (like to stay warm and not die!) Lot’s of water and don’t forget animals. A hand crank coffee grinder! Matches. Plenty of food that’s easy to prepare, canned and dried. Be sure to insulate and weatherstrip. Have plenty of warm clothes and blankets. Become a bit of a prepper and store canned, dried food in bins in a cold dark place and that water, enough for weeks or months if you can. Here in Alaska we try to prepare in case of earthquake taking out supply routes.

    Right now it’s -9 here and supposed to get really cold in the coming week.

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  • Mary Bosch

    I usually start in August to restock my pantry, paper products such as toilet paper. I make sure I have plenty of cat food, wet and dry, with a good expiration date. Cat litter becomes scarce when it snows because some people use it for snow needs and so I make sure to have plenty for my cat’s needs! Watching for good sales and buying during the Fall ensures a good stock up and no panic when bad weather happens. Besides a generator for power outage I have a Wagan Power Dome EX 400 Watt, which I keep charged. It enables me to keep cell phones, IPad, etc. charged so that I will have communication when needed. Planning ahead is the key! ❤️

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  • Peggy Doulos

    We heat by wood so always keep several years of seasoned wood stocked and available. Once during an ice storm, we were without power for a week. Is always a good idea to have a generator available for those times. We do always keep a good stock of staples such as canned goods, dry milk, and don’t forget animal feeds. If you have chickens and rabbits like I do, often times during bad weather the feed trucks don’t get through so make sure to have extra on hand. I also feed the wild birds so keep extra seed available since that is one thing that runs out quickly during storms. I dry much of the fruit I grow each year so that is available. We grow a vegetable garden each year and can the excess for winter use. Since I have the chickens, when they are laying more eggs than we can use, sometimes I freeze a whipped up portion so can use that in the winter when they don’t lay as well. When the electricity is out supplying water for the animals is more difficult since I use hot water several times a day. We are lucky to have spring water that is always available. Also in those times we have our camping equipment available for cooking using the propane stoves. We keep extra gas on hand for these emergency times, also. Being a spinner and knitter since I was a child, I have plenty of warm wool knits to keep warm in the coldest weather. In Washington state we have had quite a run of cold weather and lots of snow, about 4 foot on the ground now. Make sure to have an extra shovel on hand. I broke my favorite one when shoveling off the roofs. Lots of extra work when cold weather comes but you sure don’t have to think you need to go to a gym to stay in shape!

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  • Patty

    I make sure I have plenty of supplies to make cookies. That and a gallon of milk to drink when I am eating those cookies! We also have all the essentials but the cookies and milk are important!

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  • Frankie Holt

    Tina,
    Best day ever! Christmas in March! Please accept my thanks for the wonderful “Goodie Box”. I loved the Virgin Macadamia Nut Sample and the Avocado Oil, they make my skin so soft and are so hydrating. I’m especially curious about how to use the Horsetail Grass Extract so I’ll have to do some research. Thank you too, for the Fragrance Oils and I know exactly what I will do with them. Recently I have become very interested in Lampe Berger which is an effusion lamp that not only cleans the air, but scents it. The fuel for the lamp is quite pricey, and so I have been experimenting with the different oils that I have purchased from MMS. My favorite so far is the Eastern Amber. I can’t wait to try these new fragrances you have gifted me to see what gives the best scent throw. Many thanks for you kindness, rest assured I will put these items to the best use and will continue to order from Majestic Mountain Sage.

    In appreciation, Frankie Holt

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