Are You Prepared for a Blizzard?

What a storm! It put a damper on our travel plans, but I was so grateful to be safe and sound at home. Over the years I have tried to make sure my household had a level of preparedness for anything, but I have to admit that I was woefully unprepared this time around.

My refrigerator had the leftovers of Christmas and all the goodies I was supposed to take to our extended family celebration. I had our favorite sweet potato dish to feed twenty people. I also had salad fixings for that same number. I always make an apple crisp, so I have apples coming out the wazoo.

Milk, bread and other staples were still there but I had no bottled water and very few canned goods.

I can tell the kids are getting older because I did not have any AA or D batteries. Typically, Christmas time is the one time when I am loaded with batteries for toys or games! As a quirky twist of fate, I had picked up keychain LED flashlights at Home Depot as a stocking stuffer. Other than those, I only had one working flashlight. I had four pillar candles, two tapers and precisely three tea lights left. I had two logs for the fireplace after Christmas Eve and Christmas Day fires.

As the snow swirled and the inches piled up, I became increasingly concerned as I saw these pops of light from a transformer up on a power pole.

The next day, after the snow had stopped and we had finished digging out, we did lose power. As the house started to get cold and there were no Con Ed trucks in sight, I went out to gather some things to get us through the night. I picked up a jumbo pack of hand warmers, a jumbo pack of LED candles, lots of unscented candles, firewood and something to heat on the stove for dinner.

I illuminated the house with candles and everything glowed. Even though the wind was whipping, the house had not dropped below 60 degrees so it was fine.

I whipped up a huge pasta dinner that, according to my husband, managed to involve every pot in the kitchen. The celiacs had Tinkyada shells and the regulars had sausage and cheese raviolis that I had picked up in my shopping adventure. We grabbed some of the lettuce from the fridge and placed the milk and some juice into a snow bank right outside the back door so that we could keep the refrigerator closed.

All in all, it was a pretty cozy few hours. My blackberry was dead, my daughter’s iTouch was dead, the wireless was down, the celiac’s cell phone went dead…so we just hung out. As we were about to fire up an Uno game, we heard the big Con Ed cherry picker rumble down the street. Power was restored and we were back in business!

To me, this was a wake-up call. We are so wired and in constant communication that it’s easy to forget that when the power goes down, those little devices aren’t going to get you through an emergency. You have to actually take time to prepare. It’s time to stock up on canned goods, long shelf life GF food, batteries, bottled water and grab some of those LED candles too!

Something tells me it’s going to be a very long winter.