Alright folks, it’s that time again. One of the couple times a year that we actually see winter weather in here in the south.
Parts of Eastern NC are looking at a 1/4″ of ice overnight tonight, which is certain to bring some power outages, and cause chaos on the roads.
So, are you ready?
Do you have a safe heat source should your home lose power? It’s uncommon for homes here in the south to have wood stoves or even gas heat that will still function without electricity. Here at my place, I unfortunately don’t have much in the way of an alternative heat source. We’re well insulated though, so a day without heat doesn’t really cool the house off more than a few degrees (I know this because I always turn off the heat before we record podcast episodes, and constantly forget to turn it back on). Isolating an interior room and bringing the whole family there to hang out can help keep the temp up if needed.
- Don’t burn unsafe things indoors. It can create a fire hazard, as well as dangerous gases and low oxygen levels.
Don’t try to heat your home using your gas oven, it’s also a huge risk for carbon monoxide, and it’s really inefficient.
If you’re going to go to work, or heading out, have a bunch of junk in your car. Last year during Snowmageddeon 2014 I found myself at work during the worst of the storm and heard horror stories from customers all day about crazy things that were happening around town. All of the major roads were gridlocked, and people were abandoning their vehicles right in the roadway and walking to their destination in the snow and ice. It doesn’t matter if you’re a great driver or have four wheel drive, you could wind up gridlocked somewhere just because you’re out on the roads. You need to be prepared for this. On my way home later in the evening, I found myself out of my car, in the dark, wearing a dark jacket, right at the highest point of the ramp that goes from I-440 East to 264 East. For those not familiar, it’s a big, tall freeway ramp (full story here). I helped a small pickup get straightened out so he wasn’t blocking the road anymore and headed on my way. Once the ramp was unblocked, cars started moving before I was back in my car. I could have easily slipped and been run over in the poor conditions where nobody could see me.
Bring some stuff to weather the night in your vehicle should you need to do so. Remember, cars are big metal boxes that are insulated really poorly, so don’t expect to stay warm in your business clothes.
Here’s a bit of what will be riding in my trunk tomorrow:
- Coleman stove
- Extra fuel bottle
- Pine Cone Stove
- Waterproof boots
- 3 cans of Chunky soup
- Wool blanket
- Lighter/Ferro Rod
- Bag of cat litter (traction aid)
- Extra Jacket
- Extra socks
- 2L Water bladder
- Titanium cup
Basically, I’m tossing my day pack in the trunk along with the car kit that stays in there all the time. I’ll be prepared to stay put, or walk depending on the situation.