Blizzard Survival Guide

After being socked by 20 inches of snow the was quickly followed by another foot of snow, I’ve learned a few things.

  1. Shovels: You need a shovel for every available shoveler in your house, at least one back-up shovel, and repair tools (nails, screws, drill bits).   When shoveling feet of snow, something will break.  If you EVER want to get out, make sure you have the materials on hand to fix it.  You’ll need at least one shovel with a metal edge.When shopping, pay extra for things that are connected by rivets and multiple screws.  That $9.99 shovel you bought with two nails connecting the handle will die on the first day.
  2. Other tools: If you have space and need for a snow blower, buy one on the first cold day.   Also consider an ice chopper/scraper.  Let me tell you, that thing is magic for dealing with the snow pack and breaking through the ice.   It is one of the most valuable tools I have for the snow.  Oh, and salt.  You cannot forget the salt.  You’ll have to figure out how much you need based on the area you need to cover but for me, I’ve found a 10 lb bag provides one coating of front and rear steps the sidewalk, and the area around the car.
  3. BenGay: Shoveling snow is hard work.  And it involves muscles you may not normally use. You will be sore (and evil) after finishing.  Take two Advil, fix yourself a stiff drink, and rub BenGay all over your sore body.  And don’t bother buying that odor-free crap either.  Get the BenGay in the red box, the one that makes you smell like a nursing home mothball.   It stinks but it works.
  4. Electricity: Your power may go out and stay out for several days.  Be as ready as possible.  Have candles and flashlights on hand.  Have a battery operated radio and a traditional corded telephone AKA dinosaur.  Make sure you have plenty of extra batteries.  Keep your mobile devices fully charged while you have power.  Keep food that can be eaten without being cooked around (especially if you have an electric range).  And if your heat is electric, make sure you have lots of heavy blankets, socks, and hats on hand.  You will need to wear those inside your house.  Stock up on books, magazines, newspapers, and board games.  Electricity knocks out contemporary means of amusing yourself, you’ll need replacements.
  5. Entertainment: Even if your power stays on, you still may suffer cable and internet outages.  Keep movies on hand that you can watch while the system is down.  Also, fill your DVR with multiple hours of shows you can watch to while the time away.
  6. Vittles: The grocery store will be a zoo.  And some people will buy enough food to last 3 weeks.  So what, you still need to go.  Get enough food for at least a week which may be how long it takes for the storm to clear and the store to get restocked.  You’ll need food that can be eaten without being cooked in case you lose power (see #4).  I went to the grocery store while the roads were still impassable and they were out of produce (low on everything but no onions or apples in sight), eggs, milk, and meat.  Also, the deli and seafood counters were closed.  If you need any of those items, get them on the front end.
  7. Libations: Go to the liquor store.  Enough said.
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