Well the Blizzard of 2011 is upon us.  Milk and bread are flying off the store shelves.  People are doing play by plays on their twitter feeds and FB posts (oh yes, I am one of those goofy nerds).  The weather forecasters say this could be the worse storm since 1912 or was that 1812?  I can hardly remember.  Why?  Because I survived the Ice Storm of 2009 in the Ozarks of Arkansas, and let me tell you…after that, I ain’t scared of nuthin’.  No electricity for nearly two weeks where I was helping out and they were some of the lucky ones. 

Well so here I am working from the bottom of an 800′ foot hollow, this time around, and on my treadmill at lunch.  I start wondering about how unconcerned I seemed to be, and then started thinking about all of the things I learned during the ice storm back in 2009.  I started laughing, and that was pretty dangerous…especially considering that the electricity kept flickering so the treadmill would all of a sudden stop.  Well, I am frankly lucky to have survived.  I digress.

So, I thought to myself (after wisely grabbing the handrail on my treadmill) that I should create my Top 10 Things I Learned from the 2009 Ice Storm.  So I did.  Enjoy…

  1. Take a shower right before the bad weather starts.  You might not get another chance for a few days.  Savor your “clean” while you can. 🙂
  2. Buy beans and stuff for cornbread and cook a bunch up before you don’t have electricity for your stove.  While there might be a lot of foods that taste good cold, it doesn’t get much better than beans and cornbread.  Plus, they tend to stick to your bones better than a lot of food and you might be doing a lot more work than normal during the day.
  3. Buy extra batteries for weather radios, flashlights, etc.
  4. Buy lamp oil and keep plenty on hand.  Nothing is quite as beautiful as light from an old lamp.  You will want to use them as much as possible and preserve your batteries and flashlights.
  5. Get out the old kerosene cook stove.  They are not just for camping anymore.  They don’t have a lot of cooking space (at least the small ones), but they will do in a pinch (plus great to warm up those beans and cornbread 😉 ).
  6. Make sure all of your old quilts and blankets are washed and in a handy place.  It is going to get cold without electricity, and even if you have portable heaters and/or generators.  You might not be able to afford to run them 24/7.  Plus, in the ice storm we did see a shortage of diesel to run them.
  7. Speaking of diesel…make sure your car is full of gas/diesel (depending on which you have), and don’t forget your chainsaw.  Huh, you city folks say?!  Well, you need to keep it handy and a gas can full of gas nearby, you might just have to cut your way out of your house or out of your driveway.  Been there.  Done that.
  8. Keep some kind of battery back-up for your cell phone.  If the land lines go out…again, been there; done that…that cell phone is your lifeline.  That is until the battery dies.  Back-up plan.  Critical.
  9. Coolers.  Also not just for camping anymore.  Where else are you going to put all the food in your fridge?? 
  10. The number one thing I learned…Fill up old cream cans or your tub, but have a bunch of water on hand so you can still flush the toilets if you lose electricity.  Like you don’t have enough issues without that one. 🙂

Now of course the city folks are thinking to themselves, no way.  The country folks are thinking what a dumb girl for not learning all of that stuff sooner.  The ones that really know me will probably just laugh it off as a “Heather Thing”.   All I am saying is lets be glad that we are not looking at a replay of 2009…yet.  If we do, then lets be glad we know a lot more now than we did then.  It should go a lot easier on us. 😉

Sunshine Dreams to You ~ Today and Every Day! 🙂