Here in the Midwest we are preparing for a major snowstorm, starting at 6 a.m. tomorrow. Where I live, we’re expecting a foot of snow. This is on top of the 1/2 inch of ice already accumulated on the driveway and sidewalks. If you’re not from the North or the Midwest, you may not know what this entails.
1. Fill gas tank in car. Not enough gas may make your fuel lines freeze. You will be stranded. Not fun.
2. Top off the antifreeze in your car. You definitely don’t want your hoses and engine freezing. That would be bad.
3. Spray De-Icer on all windows of your car. If not, you’ll spend hours scraping and running the defroster. This can cause you to use up all the gas. See #1.
4. Scatter De-Icer on your steps (and maybe a path to your car). If you don’t have this, no problem! Use kitty litter. It’s messy but cheap.
5. Make sure the windows in your house are closed securely. If not, you’ll get a nice little draft.
6. Keep a steady drip of warm water going in all sinks and bathtub. This helps prevent pipes from freezing. Better yet, combine this with making sure your pipes are wrapped with insulation. Frozen pipes tend to break, which can eat up quite a few paychecks.
7. Make sure you have groceries for at least two days. Getting a few movies would be good, too. And, by the way, the term “milk and bread” is just silly. Who wants to eat just milk and bread for two days? Yuck!
8. Charge your cell phone. If you lose power you’ll be able to call the electric company, just like all your neighbors. The electric company loves being flooded with information they already have.
9. Make sure you have candles ready. It won’t keep you warm, but hey! It’s romantic.
10. If you have a fireplace, get plenty of firewood inside. This also creates light, so you really CAN read by the firelight. Every author appreciates that.
11. Charge up your computer, laptop, tablet, or Kindle. Batteries can last 2 hours or more, so you can tell all your friends on Facebook that the weather sucks.
12. Stack up all the blankets and pillows you can find. This way, if you lose power/heat, you can have a cuddle party by the fire. If you have a significant other it makes it even more fun. If you have kids, well…good luck.
13. Watch the weather on tv (until you lose power). That way you can relentlessly post updates on Facebook. This makes it fun for your friends in warm places to tease you.
14. Keep at least one curtain open (closing them keeps the heat in better). This way you can watch the storm and time how fast your car disappears under snow or ice.
15. If you have pets, make sure they have plenty of food stockpiled. Otherwise, you may have a hungry pup stealing the food off your plate. The puppy will be happy, but you may not.
16. Bring your shovel inside. If you open your door and there is a wall of snow, you can use the shovel to dig out. The snow can go in the bathtub, where the warm, dripping water will melt it. See #6. Alternatively, you have plenty of materials to have snow ice cream for days!
17. Make an emergency kit and store in the trunk of your car. If you run into a snowdrift, you will be able to stay warm longer and have food, flares, and a book. You may want to include a children’s activity kit. If you don’t have kids, this will keep the tow truck driver’s kids happy while he/she pulls your stupid self out of the snowbank. Only run the engine for small bits of time. See #1. Keep tailpipe cleared to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. That would be bad, too.
17. Sit back and listen to REO Speedwagon’s “Ridin’ the Storm Out” while wishing you were in the Bahamas. 🙂