It is no secret that I love the snow. It is so beautiful, it is fun to play in, and it forces people to slow down. In a world that is going a gazillion miles a minute, we often need a snow day to remember to slow down and watch the beauty of nature or to take time to take care of ourselves or our family. I work a full time job with unpaid overtime, I have my wedding and event planning business, and I have Matt and our dogs and home. Snow days give me a chance to catch up on the wifely things that I have been too busy to do as well as to sit on the couch and watch the peaceful snow fall, or watch the dogs chase each other around the yard kicking up snow everywhere. I love to play in the snow but currently I have been unable to find my boogie board so I am quite sad.
The snow is beautiful but it can also lead to extra dangers whether you stay at home or you have to drive out in it for an emergency or work. Snow can be especially difficult when you are in the South where people lose their minds when it snows. What are some things that you should have in order to be prepared?
FOR THE CAR
Before the storm hits or at the beginning of it, make sure you fill your tank with gas. That way if you need to travel a long distance or if you get stuck on the side of the road, you won't have to worry about running out of gas for a while. As long as you have gas, you will also hopefully have heat.
Get a scraper with a brush so that you can safely brush off the snow and scrape off ice if you need to. You should also have a couple of warm blankets, small snacks, and bottles of water in case you get stranded like some people did last year in Atlanta. Before going out make sure your phone is fully charged and or you have a car charger.
Also, let someone know where you are going and the route that you are planning on taking. Drive an appropriate speed for the conditions, allowing plenty of room between you and the cars around you and don't use cruise control. You need to be on constant alert and prepared.
Wear protective boots. I personally love to wear my muck boots. If you are afraid that they don't look professional enough for work, take an extra pair of nicer shoes to wear while inside and change before you head back out.
FOR THE HOME
Everyone jokes that you need to run out to get bread and milk. Of course you should have things like this. Bread and milk are just basic staples in most people's households anyway. The point is, just make sure you have things that could be consumed without having to warm them up incase your electricity goes out. Cold things can be placed in the snow to be kept cold.
Have a snow shovel handy. Matt's aunt Roxanne gave us one last year for Christmas. It is a good thing that she did because these past two times we have gotten a lot of snow. If you live in the South you obviously won't need these tools as often as people living elsewhere but you will still need it when the time comes. Don't wait until the last minute to try and find one either. The same goes for winter hats, gloves, coats, and scarves in this area. The stores around here already have swimsuits and flip flops out. Cold weather items are difficult to find. Even if you buy them and don't use them this season, you may need them at another time, just hold on to them.
If you own your home, cut back dead tree limbs. The last thing that you want to happen is for those trees to get heavy with snow or ice and come crashing down. If you aren't able to, make sure your car is parked away from the tree. If you can't get from under the trees, pull in the center of your driveway placing your windshield away from the tree in question. Its the best that you can do when in a sticky situation. Your house would hopefully be able to take hits from small branches. If large ones or whole trees appear to be having issues, stay away from the windows in the room that it would effect.
Make sure the gutters are cleaned out. When the snow begins to melt, it needs somewhere to go instead of under your shingles.
If your home uses gas or propane, make sure your tank is filled. You don't want to be stranded inside with no heat if you don't have to. If you have a fireplace, make sure you have plenty of wood and that you had your chimney cleaned/inspected before the season.
If you decide to get a generator, make sure that it is in working order and you have plenty of gas to put in it. On that note, if you have a grill, make sure that it has propane. I remember one icy Christmas growing up. My entire family was at my house and we had no power and everyone was hungry. Dad cooked Christmas Eve dinner on the grill and we used candles for light. It was the difference between being cold and hungry and just cold.
Use flashlights sparingly unless you have a stock pile of batteries. If you have to use candles for light, make sure that they are in an appropriate container and not near anything flammable. Do not fall asleep with a lit candle, blow it out and put the lid on if applicable prior to turning in for the night.
Please check on the elderly. If able, shovel their sidewalk for them and encourage them to not go out unless absolutely necessary. If their power or heat is out, make sure that they aren't using the type of heaters that put off carbon dioxide. Make sure that they are warm and have a way to make food. Take care of your elders, they once took care of you.
I hope that if you got a snow day that you are having fun and playing it safe. If you must go out, allow plenty of time to get to your destination and listen to the news for word on road conditions. And remember, slow down and take a moment to enjoy the beauty in nature. Snow is a beautiful work of art from God, soak it up.