What Mega Storm Atlas Taught Us About Being Prepared

by Merissa on October 7, 2013

in Preparedness

Winter Preparedness

Winter Preparedness

It's been a very long last couple of days. Early last week we learned we would be expecting snow here in western South Dakota. As the week progressed, the weatherman warned everyone that it was going to be as strong of a storm as we had back in April (25 inches of snow), a good old South Dakota blizzard. It seems as of recently the weatherman has been increasingly wrong so we took the news with a grain of salt, but still made winter preparedness plans.

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As of right now, we are still in the RV. We aren't able to close on our old house or finish the loan on our new house thanks to the government shutdown, we are just completely stuck. It's not the greatest feeling in the world, but we are grateful to have a temporary home to live in, even though it's not ready for winter because we never planned to stay the winter in it.

The storm started on Thursday afternoon with rain. We filled up our water tank because we had no other way to continue to get water (after it froze) in the rv due to where we are parked. It rained through the night and until early Friday morning, when it switched to snow. Friday, during the day, it snowed hard all day long. The power flickered all day until finally going off for good on Friday afternoon. Friday evening we realized between the wind and the blizzarding conditions, we'd been stuck indoors and using most of that precious propane. By Saturday morning we were running low so we kept the furnace off most of the day. By Saturday afternoon even our backup battery power was drained (something is wrong with the batteries we learned!) so we spent the night in below freezing temps in the rv with no electric or heat whatsoever. It was a cold night. By Sunday morning the sun had come out and we could full see what kind of clean up we were dealing with.

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This is what we found. The road out of where we are right now is about 1 mile and a half long. The first part of it was mostly covered in 6-8 foot drifts. By the time we made it to the bridge (about a mile down) with the snowmobiles, we found this scene. (Yes, that is a person standing next to the trees in the middle of the pic.) Massive trees were downed right over the road and bridge. Clean up is going to be a process!

We feel like we learned many things from this blizzard and I wanted to share them with you today, so that you can keep them in your mind too if you are in an area that gets blizzards or any kind of natural disaster that keeps you at home.

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What We Learned From The Blizzard

Always be over prepared.Β  Before the power went off, my mom spent some time making sandwiches and easy meals. I didn't. That left me trying to heat up soup in the dark. Next time when I have advance warning I will put together some easy to heat up meals for us.

Keep At Least a Week of Fuel on Hand. We thought we had enough propane and we didn't. (We actually think we might have a leak.) From now on I want to make sure we always have a good week's worth of propane on hand and our cars totally fueled up.

Know that the unexpected can happen. We were given the estimate of 18 inches of snow at the most (which was already crazy because our average snowfall for October is 1.7 inches). We ended up with 35 inches of snow.

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Things We Will Do Differently For Next Time

Get more solar lights. This solar light was a lifesaver and was our only light for days. I was so thankful for it and we also learned it didn't need full sun to operate, just a lighted sky (it still charged during the cloud cover). I'm going to pick up several more to have on hand and put around our new house when we get there.

Be more prepared for the little one. After the power went out my only focus was survival. Food, water, shelter, heat. I was mostly prepared for those things. I was not prepared for a little one that didn't understand why we had to sit in the dark. For next time I'm going to prep a special fun box for him of new toys and games so it will distract his mind from what's going on. One thing I did do right was have this battery powered glowstick for him. He thought that was pretty cool.

Have more for us to do. Being stuck inside with no electricity... there are only so many games you can play after a couple of days. I think for next time I may prep a way for us to watch a movie or do some other family activities that will help take our mind off things. Suggestions welcome!

Get more solar/battery operated things! I plan on doing some research very soon on alternative heat methods or power methods that would make us better equipped for the next storm.

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What We Did Right

We had plenty of warm clothes on hand. Sweaters, slippers, snow clothes, mittens, hats, and more. We did this one right. Even if we couldn't have heat we stayed warm with layers.

Had alternative heat to cook with. This was a BIG one. I have a propane stove in the camper so cooking was not a problem. As much as I used to love my electric coil stove to can on, I know now that I was ALWAYS stick with a gas stove, even in the new house.

Kept a good supply of water. We were able to shower and everything in the RV thanks to a large tank of water and a water pump. I plan on continuing to have a very good water stockpile no matter where we are. We also had water bottles on hand for drinking water which made that easy and we didn't dirty cups so we didn't have to do the dishes.

Had paperware on hand. Yes, I know, even I shy away from paper plates and plastic dishes but I still always have some on hand (mostly for traveling). When you want to conserve as much water as possible, paper and plasticware is the way to go. I'll always keep a small stockpile on hand in case of emergencies like this one.

We had plenty of food. Even though my food wasn't the easiest to heat up like I mentioned above, we had plenty of it.

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It was definitely some pretty crazy weather. The snow was beating down while it was thundering and lightening at the same time. At the worst point over 40,000 local residents went without power for over 24 hours. Numerous severe alerts popped up on my phone throughout the weekend including one for "shelter in place" which I'd never seen before.

We've already been warned that the rest of this winter is going to be similar so you better believe we making a list for winter preparedness... or we soon will be when we can get out of here! (The picture above is our road right now, impassable!) I think we are in for a long winter.

Here are some other ways you can get ready for winter so you can be better prepared too.

Looking for other Winter Preparedness tips?

What are some things that you have learned from recent natural disasters that you will make sure you do differently next time?

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7:00 am

{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lana October 7, 2013 at 8:13 am

We are expecting a good many ice storms here in SC and probably some snow. We are empty nesters so kids are not an issue here which makes it tons easier. We have a good supply of dry wood for our fireplace in the garage and have water and canned food stockpiles. We have a crank-up radio and flashlight. The radio is my favorite because it keeps us connected with what is going on and takes away the incredible silence of a power outage. When we have an ice storm the neighborhood men all come out with their chainsaws and get to work clearing downed trees. One of our neighbors has a tractor with a plow so they plow out the roads in the neighborhood which is a huge help. I think we are all in for a rough winter.

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2 Merissa October 7, 2013 at 8:14 am

I agree. All the signs point to a very long hard winter.

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3 J October 7, 2013 at 8:39 am

Just be careful what kind of a gas stove you get. When the power went out I thought I’d be still be able to cook on our gas stove. However, I was surprised to find out that it takes electricity to turn on our gas stove! We have a newer gas stove, so I’d recommend an older one which doesn’t require electricity!

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4 Merissa October 7, 2013 at 8:41 am

My mom’s is the same way and she still could light the burners with a lighter. Ours currently has a spark so it doesn’t need electricity to run.

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5 Jean October 7, 2013 at 9:47 am

Ours was bought NEW 10 years ago. We still can use only stove top in every power outage but not oven. Next stove I’ll need to double check that we can still turn on stove AND oven when lit manually.

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6 Patti October 7, 2013 at 9:12 am

Glad you’re safe. Thank you for sharing your experience. I have saved this page for future reference since I live in an area that gets heavy snow fall (unexpectedly).

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7 Connie Mays October 7, 2013 at 9:41 am

SO glad you’re safe! We were without power for 5 days several years ago due to snow and ice. I have an older small kerosene stove that will heat about a 20×20 space reasonably comfortable. I’m also able to cook on it. I keep 10 gallons of kerosene and the stove will run 18 hr. on a gallon tank. While it’s in use, I keep a stock pot of water going on it, so we can “sponge bathe” and do any dishes (mainly just the cooking pan(s) that I use.) I also try to keep the vehicles full of gas and never let them get below 1/2 tank. Plenty of candles are a good source of light and I also have a small lantern that doubles as a cookstove. I learned a LOT from that experience as you have from yours. God bless you and I hope things get brighter very soon!

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8 Jean October 7, 2013 at 9:43 am

We have gas stove that still worked in power outage. No oven meanwhile though. Before beginning of winter (in fact we’re already thinking what to add to list), we make sure all kerosene containers are full. Along with gas containers to run generator. It is on our list to switch furance from hard-wired into PLUGGED. This we learned from our first ever winter outage last winter! It lasted some over 24 hours and we had 3 little girls- oooh the worry part of being their mama! We managed to bring up closed up great room (with cracked window and leaky back door) to 72 with kerosene heater, lamps, and cooking on gas stove. Our gas is piped. Gas and sewer has yet been shut down in our 10 years here but I’m not knocking the wood. My living without electricity and modern luxuaries of nearly 10 years had taught me a lot. I often fall back on these days when we have power outage (usually due to severe storms in Iowa). Last major storm (straight line squall) netted in tons tons of fallen trees. I felt so bad for not taking avantage of such free wood supply! Husband said no to woodstove (thinking of the kind that require installing chimney, this house isn’t that big). I’ve been thinking about looking into portable small woodstove where all I need to do is to slide a window up and insert a ‘chimney hole’ panel. It is already in my practice to have lots of food stockpiled of about 6 months worth. How to keep children entertained? Ours happen to LOVE to read. I let ’em. They don’t have very many easily accessible electronics so it is norm to play with puzzles, blocks, dolls, wagon, play house, and occasional board game. I’d try to include them MORE in what I’m doing such as cooking and getting easy things in place along with being my ‘eyes back of my head’ concerning candle/lamp safety with youngest. I need to invest some in solar lights, perfect for using in not-so-safe-for-candle without draining precious supply of batteries. I’m ready to hunker down in this home in small town for weeks as long as town don’t chase us away. What about when we cannot flush toilet (when need to conserve water, flush ONLY when there’s #2)? We have 5 gallon bucket with toilet seat on it. We could quietly go and bury it in snowdrift somewhere once it get full (dump/bury in summer in a field next to sewer plant if we have no choice). Husband was suprised at how the smell is NONEXIST when he took a bucketful to dump at undisclosed location at end of summer (girls go outside often, hence bucket for THAT purpose so I don’t need to smell theirs on top of dog/chicken litter). How’s that? I throw in a handful of sawdust every time someone used the bucket. Oooh, I need to add more sawdust to my shopping list! I’d tell people I got them for our rabbit and chickens…

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9 Lana October 7, 2013 at 2:58 pm

We have a very small woodstove that we keep in the shed just in case. We have a firemat that goes down under it and we would run the chimney pipe up our existing chimney. We have never been without power for more than 24 hours so we have never had to use it but it is good to be prepared.

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10 Jessica February 14, 2014 at 7:30 pm

You could always fill an extra tub (if you have one) with water for flushing the toilet.

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11 Marlene October 7, 2013 at 9:43 am

Something you may want to look at that may be perfect for keeping a trailer warm is at http://www.hgatstick.com/_process.html Or word search clay pot heaters.

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12 Marlene October 7, 2013 at 9:47 am

That web site is. http://Www.heatstick.com/_process.html Sorry misspelling in the previous post.

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13 Christy Kranig October 7, 2013 at 9:54 am

I know you have some “old timey” methods of knowing what to expect for weatjern could you share them again? I ran out and bought an Old Farmers Almanac after this storm and its calling for a fairly mild winter for this region..

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14 Merissa October 7, 2013 at 9:57 am
15 diane longfield October 7, 2013 at 12:52 pm

instead of playing games when the power goes out you could have craft time & make Christmas gifts or ornaments for family & friends. just have some craft items in a Rubbermaid tote & use your imagination.

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16 Kimberly Harris October 7, 2013 at 2:46 pm

Glad you are all ok. They are calling for a bad winter here in Northwestern Ohio for us. We lived in Alabama recently (when those bad tornado’s went through) and had to go a while with no electric (a week or so I think). I was thankful for our R.V. then with the water tank and lights that ran off the battery and the power converter. We learned a lot of survival skills then (like how to cook food on an open fire that we had never cooked on an open fire before), scavenging for wood and water and making things last. I have recently joined your page…love the story.

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17 jody October 7, 2013 at 2:56 pm

We are no strangers to storms and outages either. If you don’t have a back up generator yet, I would strongly recommend one when you get into your new house. With small children it can really ease your mind to know you can still have power if you need it as long as you have prepared by having enough gas on hand. I don’t know how old your little one is but a few ideas mine like: scavenger hunts with flashlights (inside!), bowling with a ball and some empty plastic bottles, hide the thimble (or in our case we use a little green frog), build tents or forts with blankets and pillows, and string cereal, like Cheerios, to hang out for the birds after the storm. Good luck with your clean up, I know how much work that can be!

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18 Merissa October 7, 2013 at 3:00 pm

We had a generator (and sold it to my parents when we planned to travel) and we 100% plan on getting another one as soon as possible. They are so useful! Thanks for the suggestions for our little guy!

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19 Diana October 7, 2013 at 5:27 pm

Solar chargers are great for things like batteries and electronic devices. We have a small portable DVD player that we watch movies on in the car, plugs right into the dash to recharge too. Heat is very important. We had a welder friend make a barrel type BBQ. this has also doubled one year for heating water! Make sure you have plenty of dried firewood. We were without power for over 11 days and the only heat we had was the wood stove. My kitchen was frozen so I did not worry about food spoiling. There are also led lanterns that are fairly cheap. We got one last year for camping. Lots of batteries, but worth it in an emergency. In an RV be aware that ice and snow will block vents and air is important due to carbon fume build up. Oh, don’t park too close to a structure as snow will slide off and build up on the RV roof. I and many others could help you draw up a list, but I think you can do it and categorize needs for each area. Personal, food, heat, tools… best to you.

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20 Gloria October 7, 2013 at 6:47 pm

Glad you and yours are ok. Thank you for posting this as a way to rev up those os us that know how but are in need of just reminder. I drove truck for years. When my husband and I got stuck in a blizzard for three days on the interstate we got to supply a clean sheet to a lady giving birth, and a gal. of water. This brings up first aid supplies for the chance of what might happen and a good first aid book. Burns from the stoves or lamps or candles would need treatment, boo boo bags made from wash cloths, hand warmers for overly cold fingers, extra rugs to place over spill accidents *until the time you can clean the place) or for just keeping in the warmth inside. I lined the sleeper with the extra quilt so that the cold would not come through the back wall I put pillow cases over the sleeper view window in the top bunk and a beach towel over the emergency exit of the main berth. We also carried cat litter, a bag of sand, and ceder chips. Stock up on plastic bags of the construction type so if you need to use the “can” you can line the bucket, trash can or porta potty.
Cooking we had both an ice chest and a portable frig and one box of food stuff with a menu for meals. If you find yourself in the car there is a plug into the lighter devise that also has a element on the other end where you can heat water. I put a large coffee thermos cup into an even bigger soda refill cup and heated water, which cooked the eggs to hard boiled and then the pasta for salad and then more water boiled for a “bird bath” for us.
Clothing-I put the used clothes into the zip lock type larger bags which I put the baking soda in an envelope with holes punched with a yarn needle so they would not stink up the truck cab and layered them on the bottom of the suitcases.
Then we get home AZ. only to be in a downdraft storm (almost tornado) and the electricity was out for a week. The gas was still on and the water pressure for the town was there because the water tower was less than a mile from us. The septic tank worked, and so did the hot water heater after we used a long match to light….so I stock long matches or “fireplace matches.” The stove and oven needed to be long match pilot light lite again. We used hand tools to fix the roof, the winds were high and blew off some shingles, and then a hand saw to cut the part of the tree that broke off. Then we got snowed in, and spent three days enjoying the view out the front of the white stuff. The house had been built to hold the heat with extra thick walls,
We have several hobbies that can be done without using electricity. BUT we have a player thing which plays moves and uses batteries. The games are played on their smart phones and I have a hand crank charger for the phones and radio. I also have a hang crank radio/flashlight/charger. We have flashlights with extra batteries. We have oil lamps and oil and I do need to get more wicks. We have a stock of candles and candle stands. AND I have supplies for making cards, knitting, sewing, crocheting and drawing if the guys get bored. The vehicles need emergency supplies stocked in them as well as the half full tanks. A pack for everyone is a good idea. ANd a box of emergency foods (rotated of course) to go for at least a month. individual servings works best for the snacking on the cereal so dividing up the cereal before hand worked well. The chips and nuts will spoil quick if you do this so leaving them whole and then dividing them works better. Remembering that you need more carbs in the cold will help you stay healthy.

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21 Merissa October 7, 2013 at 6:50 pm

Thank you for sharing all those great tips with us!

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22 Kelly October 7, 2013 at 7:12 pm

Your story reminds of the the Little House on the Prairie book The Long Winter. I think that everyone everywhere will be having a winter like no other. I have been prepping our house and helping to tell my friends what they need to do as well. This year I came across this book and found a free downloadable version for it. The book is called Recipes for Disaster and it has a handful of great things to “cook” when the power is out. Check it out and maybe it will help you and others get ideas.
I noticed you wanted suggestions for things to do with the family. In our emergency toy kit we have some of the following items:
Bubbles, coloring books and crayons, wooden mind puzzles, cards, books, the Bible, hand puppets, action figures from McDonald’s and Burger King, and a few other fun things. It keeps the kids busy and us sane when the lights are out.
Stay safe and warm!

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23 Merissa October 7, 2013 at 7:13 pm

Love the puppets idea! That could be a fun one to do with very little light. I’m going to look up that book too.

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24 Nancy October 7, 2013 at 7:56 pm

We frequent the thrift store now and then and found games like Scattagories, Othello, Kenya and puzzles. I also keep unpainted wooden ornaments, sun catchers and a few paints for my daughter to work on when the weather is dreary. Other types of entertainment that may help is Madlibs, yarn for crocheting, play doh and card stock and inexpensive rubber stamps to get kids making cards. Hope this helps!

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25 Char October 7, 2013 at 8:06 pm

We found we were under prepared for this storm. We planned on camping at Custer State Park for the weekend, but when we heard the snow predictions, decided to stay home. Little did we know we would be camping in our house!
We were without power for 3 days, and learned that we needed to make sure we had enough fuel for our generator. And make sure that it started. When we finally did get it started, we only had about 4 hours of power with it. We used it on Saturday night when it got a little colder.
Our neighbor called and said he was stuck a mile from his house. The snowmobiles had no fuel, so they were no help for us.
Sears has a DieHard portable power unit which you can plug things in or jump start a car if you need. That would have been great if we had charged it fully too!
We ended up using many of our camping lanterns and gadgets, so we did fine!
The BBQ grill has a burner on it so we cooked on that too. We were able to charge our phones in the vehicles periodically.
Extra blankets at night, and kept some rooms closed off during the entire blizzard so the heat that was in the house would stay trapped.
So we will be heading out to make sure everything has gas in it for the next storm.

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26 Merissa October 7, 2013 at 8:08 pm

I’m so glad you weren’t out camping at Custer State Park! That might have made for a pretty rough weekend. But that’s great that you could still use all your camping gear! I agree on the fuel thing…too much can’t be too much!

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27 RevAllyson October 7, 2013 at 8:08 pm

In the new house, get a wood stove. Make sure it has a flat top, so you can heat things up on it, if need be, even if it’s more for heat than cooking. We are lucky in that we have a heat stove and a wood cook stove as well (a beauty, too *smile*), but only the heat stove is hooked up right now. Next summer we hope to install another chimney so the cook stove can be up and running. I miss having it available for cooking around the holidays when I have more food to cook than oven space. πŸ˜‰

The clay pot heaters work. Also, if you’re stuck like that, make your heatable space smaller. You can set a small tent up inside your home or RV to help conserve heat. Or even make one by putting blankets (or tent fabric or tarps) over a big table. Then just heat the inside space. It’s not ideal but in an emergency it works *really* well.

Hand crank flashlights work great for lights in extended storms. They work even when batteries don’t. πŸ™‚ And yes, little “light sabers” and similar are great for kids. We also use oil lanterns and natural gas lanterns (we have both sturdy ones and ‘pretty’ ones).

Having a gas stove is almost a necessity if you aren’t in a big city, imo. Most of the new ones and I think all of the old ones can be lit with a match even if the electric starter/sparker isn’t functioning. Most of the ovens can be as well, but I’m never willing to stick my head in and light them LOL… I just cook on top of the stove. With a good quality dutch oven, you don’t need to use an oven anyhow… you can “oven cook” on top of the stove. Cast iron is the way to go. Get a pot of soup going, then just keep it going by throwing in a bit more meat or a bit of veggies whenever it’s getting low. It might be chicken today and beef tomorrow, but it’ll still be hot soup ready for anyone who’s chilled or hungry. πŸ™‚

Also, if it’s not actively snowing or raining, and you can get outside, do so… whatever sunlight you can get will help elevate moods and keep you going. You can cook outside, too, after all. Build a nice fire (safely of course), cook dinner, then go inside and shake off and enjoy the cozy interior (which will seem a LOT warmer after being outdoors) while eating your meal.

Snowshoes. If you live in a place where you get snow, snowshoes (and perhaps a good quality sled for your little one) can let you walk out of a place no car can go. Skis, too, can be used for that, and you can pull the little one along in a sled behind you, with supplies if need be. Bugging in is often the best course of action, but it’s always good to have on hand the stuff you need to get out.

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28 Merissa October 7, 2013 at 8:09 pm

All excellent tips, thanks for sharing!

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29 MotherLodeBeth October 7, 2013 at 9:19 pm

Here in the Sierra where we can get snow up to the roof line we really do try and be prepared.

Highly recommend the hand crank radio, flashlight combos, LLBean, Radio Shack and other places sell. Some even have a jack for recharging a cell phone.

And if at all possible folks should have a wood burning stove for heat and room on top for cooking and even heating water.

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30 Sandy October 8, 2013 at 7:44 am

We get snowed in every couple of years. Once 4wk. couldn’t get in or out for the snow. We live between hills here in the country. The county had truck,and grater’s stuck in our road. We had candles, and lamps, and sleeping bags,. Now after a ice storm a few years back we have a generator. It will run the furnace, and freezer and frig. and a few lights. Lesson learned. Oh did I forget to say we had horses and never thought to ride them two or three miles down the road for extra food. Go figure. But we always have food . Deer, beef,pork. lots of canned goods I put up during the summer. Take care.

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31 Rebecca Chavez October 8, 2013 at 11:54 pm

As far as entertainment I would suggest a laptop or portable DVD player and charge our in the vehicle periodically as needed…audio books are great to listen to if your someone use to watching tv, this really helps break up the silence, cards & small board games are also fun. For entertaining children I suggest having a rubbermaid clear tub (the smaller ones) filled with crayons/coloring books/art supplies, etc. To keep them from loosing interest you could buy a few dollar store toys/simple craft kits/books and on each day of the storm give the child a new goodie bag filled with a new project to work on.

As far as the no heat & electricity situation goes here’s a few things I thought of while I was reading your post. Use extra blankets at night, especially crocheted thick blankets to put overtop ordinary blankets…and if you are going to be living in areas where you’ll see cold winters and potential power outages, I can’t say enough about a blanket called a “woobie”, sold by kifaru.net (I have no affiliation with them except as a happy customer) this blanket will keep you warm by itself in extremely cold temps, a bit pricey, but well worth it. My husband bought us both one, I complained about the price & even arguing with him about purchasing them, so he sold some of his old gear and bought them with that money, but after we moved to the mountains and during the first winter here we lost power for 3 days & cold, cold nights, I was very grateful he hadn’t listened to me… I can attest these blankets are worth their weight in gold. In an RV these would be perfect.

For extra warmth when up & moving around use body warmer inserts like the ones you use for camping…place them in your socks and under your clothes, these are especially helpful in extreme cold temps. for people with any joint or arthritis issues…you can put them on and it’s like a little mini heating pad.

In the RV kept some areas closed off during the entire blizzard so the heat stay trapped in one small area. You can even use a makeshift terra-cotta pot candle heater to add warmth to a room when no other source of external heat is an option…when it’s freezing even a few degrees warmer is something.

I also highly recommend the hand crank radio, flashlight combos that another commenter suggested, and keep a few battery tap lights mounted around the RV to make it easier to see how to cook.

As far as food & cooking goes, if you can’t use a stove of any kind, try using a jet-boil camping cooker…& if you’re in a pinch you can use mini sterno cans, and store the food in thermos to keep them hot longer.

My husband and myself where caught in a blizzard for four days while long-haul trucking years ago. We survived inside that condo semi-truck by planning ahead and having water stored under the bed storage, a camping toilet (the kind with the removable bottom for dumping), and by cooking can goods like soups/raviolis/stews/etc. on mini sterno cans. We listened to audio books on the trucks cd player…we were lucky enough to have had plenty of fuel to run the engine enough to use the heater & radio periodically. We also entertained ourselves by taking turns reading books out-loud and playing cards & boggle (there’s not much room on a semi-truck so our games had to be small and portable).

Crocheting or knitting is a good way to pass the time too…& personal journalling & reflection is another way. So naturally you’ll want to have extra yarn/hooks/needles for the knitting/crocheting and simple ruled notebooks & pens for journalling. Journalling and self-reflection may sound like odd things to add to this list, but since moving from the busy traffic filled city to serene mountains I’ve found that during our winter power outages these little inconveniences really help you to see all you’re blessed with & they can even bring a couple/family closer to one another…my hope is when it was all over this was what you found also.

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32 Leanne October 10, 2013 at 8:33 pm

I love this post! The Long Winter (Little House series) is one of my favorite books. I just recently read it to my girls, they also loved it. I actually love a good snow storm, as long as I am prepared. I love the family closeness during a storm. Marissa, you have great ideas is this post, as well as those commenting.

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33 Leanne October 10, 2013 at 8:34 pm

Sorry…*Merissa*

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34 Jennifer October 11, 2013 at 3:02 pm

This is a good time to get out “The Long Winter” By Laura Ingalls Wilder and revisit what that was like when they didn’t have the conveniences we do now!! πŸ™‚ Hope everything goes good for you!

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35 Merissa October 11, 2013 at 3:07 pm

I plan on re-reading it soon to get more tips!

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36 Angie October 11, 2013 at 9:56 pm

Great post! I too learned a few things from the storm Atlas. I thought I was prepared. My husband happened to be out of town when the storm hit, in a different state, actually, visiting his family. My power went out Friday morning. I thought OK I am fine I have food, I have water and I have a generator. Then it dawned on my I have no idea how to start the generator. I never paid attention to all those times we used it camping. My husband handled that part of the camping. So my suggestion is to learn how to use all of your prepping tools don’t just rely on someone else being there because you might get stranded alone! Luckily I didn’t have to use my generator because they got my power restored rather quickly, 6 hours!

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37 Merissa October 11, 2013 at 9:57 pm

Oh good tip!

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38 kamiko October 22, 2013 at 11:02 pm

i spent time in Nebraska, where the blizzards are high, and no one is going anywhere when they hit! my mo would always have on hand a case of toilet paper, a case of paper towels, blocks of meats, case of Ravioli, and other items by the case load. we would clean them out by spring, and buy new ones by fall. i prep now that i live in florida, with all of the storms we have. when the government shut down, both my freezers were stocked, my pantry was stocked, my fridge was stocked, and 2 other course of food were stocked. i am good to go for at least 6 mos to a year. i hit all sales, i use my store coupons with my manufacturers coupons, and i eat what i buy. if its not generic or on sale, i wont buy it. i make my own laundry supplies, and im learning to make my own dish detergent. Im becoming very self sufficient on a limited budget.

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39 Roberta Cross December 12, 2013 at 6:13 am

You said you could still shower. I take very few showers a week especially in the winter. While hunting with my husband we go for 11 days without showering we are still alive. I still clean myself daily. When I do shower it is quick. I sometimes don’t use soap just the hot water. I feel people shower too much. Oh and while we were dry camping for 11 days in 16 degree weather we used a cat litter toilet it worked great and to this day my son-in-law uses one on his hunting trips. The best cat litter is Fresh Step.

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40 Kathleen Anderson August 26, 2014 at 8:13 am

Are you stocked up on dehydrated foods ?

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41 Merissa August 26, 2014 at 5:37 pm

We prefer to stock up on canned goods versus dehydrated foods. They just taste better πŸ™‚

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