In yesterday’s post Ranger Man covered how the famed Ice Storm of 1998 unfolded in Maine. In this post I’ll cover the lessons learned and the importance of cold weather preparations. I think many of us in survival world are quick to assume the world will be our enemies when times get tough. Certainly some people will be, but most people will be our allies. See examples of how people came together to get through the 1998 ice storm:
Without heat or electricity, the Kearnses fired up a kerosene heater and slept huddled around it in a downstairs room. They stored food on the porch. Neighbors needing shelter joined them for a while.
“It was like a war zone,” Denise said, describing the downed trees and wires that littered the roads.
“We spent a lot of time cleaning roads and working with the Fire Department. We’d get generators or find an electrician,” Greg Kearns said. “People would show up with their tools, their chainsaw, their bare hands; it didn’t matter.”
Scope the source for these quotes here. There are also pics of store owners using lanterns to sell goods, and some dude putting a bucket into a hole in the ice over a brook, getting water for his dishes and toilet. More:
Mainers greeted the repair crews rolling in from across the Northeast with coffee and muffins. Neighbors checked on neighbors and threw open their doors to those who needed help.
Cecile LePage in Limerick remembers taking in two 90-year-old women. She set up a card table with tablecloth in front of the wood stove where she fed them their meals. “I kept them entertained. It was wonderful to do something for others,” she said.
Doesn’t that make you feel warm and fuzzy? Now, let’s image the storm had hit many other states at the same time. Further, imagine if this storm was coupled with an avian flu outbreak or some other disaster – yikes! SHTF city!
Live in a cold-weather region?
How can YOU prepare?
What should YOU consider?
For starters, try – at all costs – to avoid going to a shelter. In a more dire situation, they’ll be places of mayhem and disease sharing. They won’t be equipped to handle the load of people. Prepare to stay-in-place if at all possible. Thoughts to help make that happen:
- Secure a generator! And have enough fuel stored. Run the generator quietly so you’re not a target for thugs. Build a generator “dog house” that’s vented and insulated for sound.
- Better yet, create a living environment where you don’t require a generator to get by. How? Install a gas range in your house. This way you don’t need electricity to heat water and cook. Use a fuel source that doesn’t require electricity to keep your warm: wood and coal.
- Have plenty of batteries and emergency candles in storage. Have plenty of canned and dry goods that don’t require refrigeration.
- Have a hand-crank flashlight and radio.
- Have an adequate supply of blankets. I like the military surplus wool blankets that can be had for cheap when purchased in bulk. Split an order with someone.
- Have plenty of rock salt on hand for icy walkways. Slip on your stairs and smash your back? It’s SHTF time.
- Insulate your pipes and allow water to drip during cold weather to help prevent freezing.
- Know which neighbors might need your assistance? That hermit old lady that lives down the road? Who is checking in on her? Don’t find out later that she died from the cold. You’ll feel like an ass.
These are not changes you need to make overnight. With the range for example, wait until your electric one dies and THEN get a gas range. They’re better for cooking anyway.
Other thoughts and comments are welcome.
– Ranger Man