I grew up in Wisconsin, so being snowed in is not a foreign concept to me. The last time I dealt with extended outages, though, was when Hurricane Ike came to visit Houston in 2008.
Here are a few suggestions for getting through the next few days-
Before the worst of the storm hits-
- Charge your cell phones, find your candles and flashlights just in case you lose power.
- Prep some easy food--if you lose power, hard boiled eggs are way easier than raw ones...
- Reassure family out of the area that you'll be fine and how best they can be in contact with you.
- Yellow pages. Find them if you can, but if you don't have any, this is a good time to write down critical numbers you might need. (Also handy is a phone that plugs into the wall just in case everything loses charge...)
- Make something that gets your home smelling excellent. Trust me on this one.
- Catch up on laundry.
- Give your heater a nudge up if you can, just in case
- If you have pipe freezing issues, please keep on top of them. (This storm is not likely to be 'bitterly' cold, but freezing is freezing.)
- Make deals with your kids on how you'll be weathering the storm. Especially "This is an awesome opportunity for Mom to sleep in. Make yourselves cereal." (Sadly, it's hard to negotiate with babies and pets.)
Staying comfortable during the storm-
- Consider this an excellent reason to fall in love with your blankets, fuzzy socks, and silly hats.
- Books, jigsaw puzzles, board games (if you have company)
- Moisturize! I mean it!
- As delicious as comfort foods are, eat a vegetable. Or an apple at least.
Yes, shoveling a few times as it falls is less heavy than two feet all at once. But if it's a whiteout, please stay inside. And please don't overexert, ever. If you collapse, some poor ambulance driver has to navigate the roads for you.
For folks elsewhere wishing they could help out, you might look into supporting Warming Centers in impacted areas as they provide shelter to homeless people.
What else do you suggest?
*No, I'm not really a fan of naming winter storms. Enough so that I mislabeled this storm as Iola originally...
It just makes people feel bad in a neverending winter.