Sunday, January 24, 2016

East Coast Storm: 7 Tips to Keep in mind

A person walks through the blowing snow in Bowling Green on January 22.
So the big East Coast storm is causing the expected problems. I hope everyone stocked up on the winter basics, food, water, fuel, batteries, gas, generator, medicine, etc and you’re reading this while warm and cozy at home.
How are you dealing with the storm in your area? Any thoughts, experiences or lessons learned? Feel free to leave your comments below.

Now its time to apply some good old common sense:
1)Dear God do NOT run your generator indoors. Just don’t. It’s the kind of mistake you get to make only once. Last year an entire family, dad and kids, died because of this.
2)Same goes for heaters, propane and kerosene or any other combusting heaters you may be using. Have a CO detector and make sure to open a window an inch or two just in case.
3)Don’t travel if you can avoid it. Traffic accidents are the main cause of death during storms.If you must travel, have supplies for several days, food, water and warm clothes.
4)Careful when walking too, even short distances or just around the house. Slipping on ice is the most common cause of injuries. Overestimating your capabilities may leave you stuck in the middle of the storm, even if you think you can walk short distances.
5)Take it easy if you have to shovel snow. The cold temperatures may trick you into not realizing how much effort you’re doing. 5 minutes at a time, then rest. Every year several people die due to heart attacks while shovelling snow. By the way, this should also remind us all of the importance of staying fit.
6)Keep your cell phone charged. Charge that little battery bank as well (this one works great btw). It’s a waste of fuel to use your generator just to charge a phone or tablet.
7)Check on your loved ones daily. If you have neighbours on their own or older folks check on them too. Even better, send your teen son to lend a hand. They can use the exercise and practice of face to face social interaction. Really, if you have never done it before give it a try. Even if you never said a word to that old couple down the road, trust me they will REALLY appreciate if you or your kid drops by to see if they’re doing ok.
So that just few tips. Try to make the most of it. Even if you have power try playing some board games and spending some time with the family engaging in actual conversation or doing something together.
It’s my first winter here in the Costa del Sol in Spain and while I do see the practical advantage of not having winter(there’s people sunbathing on the beach here as I write this), I do miss having a bit of snow. I’m still wearing flip flops and 5.11 shorts. I’ll probably walk to the beach after lunch.
Take care folks, enjoy the rest of your weekend.
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

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