Holy Manoly! It’s a true Nor’Eastah’ – ayuh!
16 people reported dead, more snow on the way!
Power outages! Parking bans! School cancellations! Airport delays!
Or we’ll just have to get out the shovels and buckets of rock salt, but this does call for a Winter Preparedness SHTF post. How does one prepare for such scenarios? Good question, let’s see what FEMA tells us. Surely they know . . . . errrr . . . . anyway, Ranger Man’s notes are in red.
FEMA guidelines if you’re indoors:
- Listen to your radio, television, or NOAA Weather Radio for weather reports and emergency information.
[We ALL have a NOAA Weather Radio – DON’T we!?]
- Eat regularly and drink ample fluids, but avoid caffeine and alcohol.
[“Avoid caffeine and alcohol”!? Scratch my “FEMA knows” comment.]
- Conserve fuel, if necessary, by keeping your residence cooler than normal. Temporarily close off heat to some rooms.
[Survivalists should be doing this anyway.]
- If the pipes freeze, remove any insulation or layers of newspapers and wrap pipes in rags. Completely open all faucets and pour hot water over the pipes, starting where they were most exposed to the cold (or where the cold was most likely to penetrate). [I’ve had frozen pipes before. This is dumb advice. Ever try pouring hot water on overhead pipes? Exactly. A plumbing torch works FAR better.]
- Maintain ventilation when using kerosene heaters to avoid build-up of toxic fumes. Refuel kerosene heaters outside and keep them at least three feet from flammable objects.
If you’re outdoors:
- Avoid overexertion when shoveling snow. Overexertion can bring on a heart attack—a major cause of death in the winter. If you must shovel snow, stretch before going outside.
- Protect your lungs from extremely cold air by covering your mouth when outdoors. Try not to speak unless absolutely necessary. [“Try not to speak unless absolutely necessary”? Are they trying to tell us something?]
- Keep dry. Change wet clothing frequently to prevent a loss of body heat. Wet clothing loses all of its insulating value and transmits heat rapidly. [Better advice would be to wear wool. It keeps you warm even when wet.]
- Watch for signs of frostbite. These include loss of feeling and white or pale appearance in extremities such as fingers, toes, ear lobes, and the tip of the nose. If symptoms are detected, get medical help immediately.
- Watch for signs of hypothermia. These include uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness, and apparent exhaustion. [Don’t confuse this with having too many frosty cold beverages.]
If a blizzard traps you in the car:
- Pull off the highway. [No duh!] Turn on hazard lights and hang a distress flag from the radio antenna or window.
- Remain in your vehicle where rescuers are most likely to find you. Do not set out on foot unless you can see a building close by where you know you can take shelter. Be careful; distances are distorted by blowing snow. A building may seem close, but be too far to walk to in deep snow. [Throw snowshoes in your trunk – don’t be a wimp.]
- Run the engine and heater about 10 minutes each hour to keep warm. When the engine is running, open a downwind window slightly for ventilation and periodically clear snow from the exhaust pipe. This will protect you from possible carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Exercise to maintain body heat, but avoid overexertion. In extreme cold, use road maps, seat covers, and floor mats for insulation. Huddle with passengers and use your coat for a blanket. [I never knew road maps kept you warm, and here I’ve been using a down comforter on my bed.]
- Take turns sleeping. One person should be awake at all times to look for rescue crews. [And to watch for invading armies.]
- Drink fluids to avoid dehydration.
- Be careful not to waste battery power. Balance electrical energy needs – the use of lights, heat, and radio – with supply.
- Turn on the inside light at night so work crews or rescuers can see you.
- If stranded in a remote area, stomp large block letters in an open area spelling out HELP or SOS and line with rocks or tree limbs to attract the attention of rescue personnel who may be surveying the area by airplane. [Or build a fire so big they can see it from the space station.]
- Leave the car and proceed on foot – if necessary – once the blizzard passes. [Yeah, and don’t get lost in the process. I’m not sure this is good advice. It flies in the face of “stay put”. But hey, FEMA must know . . . . right? . . . .]
Here is a pic taken this afternoon from the back of Ranger Man’s keep in Maine.
More snow on the way.