Lesson Number 5: Fill your freezer. Not only does a full freezer stay cold longer, but by freezing as much water as you can in advance, you will have a nice supply of very solid blocks of ice to stash in there. Round up all your empty bottles, pots, baking pans and mixing bowls, fill them water and stick them in your freezer at least twenty four hours prior to any impending major weather events. Should you be dealing with a winter storm that involves snow, feel free to harvest the frozen white stuff and put it to good use. Fill a cooler with snow and throw in as many perishables as you can. Pile up pots full of snow and put them in both your freezer and your refrigerator to keep them and their contents at optimal temperature.
Lesson Number 6: Gas appliances totally rock. When you find yourself without power and you still have hot water and the ability to cook, you will be eternally grateful that you have a gas powered hot water heater and oven. Trust me. Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt.
Lesson Number 7: Got a winter storm? Having your heat go out is not a fun experience. Pile on the blankets and put on a sweatshirt. Or two. Or three. Whatever you do, given the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, don’t turn on your oven or your cook top to stay warm for long periods of time.
Lesson Number 8: While it may seem old fashioned to have one in the house, having a battery powered or a hand crank radio can be a lifeline when the power goes out in the middle of meteorological mayhem, keeping you informed of what may be crucial information.
Lesson Number 9: While they may hearken back to practically pre-historic times, keep a corded phone somewhere in your house. Once the power goes out, your cordless will be nothing more than a very expensive paperweight and you are going to want to preserve your cell phone battery. As long as the phone lines aren’t down, your corded phone is going to be good to go.
Lesson Number 10: Listen to the weather advisories and follow the advice of local authorities. Yes, they may sometimes blow things out of proportion, but you never know when they may be completely on track with their predictions with, unfortunately, potentially devastating results.
Lesson Number 11: While you want to load up on basic necessities before a storm, remember that you may lose all the food in your refrigerator or freezer should the power go out for an extended period of time. So buy what you need to keep you stocked for a few days, but pre-storm is not the time to pack your refrigerator or your freezer with food.
Lesson Number 12: If you live in an area where the power lines are above ground, maybe, maybe it is time to think about investing in a generator? I know I am!