Friday, February 8, 2013

Are you ready? Instant Snowstorm Kit

After every storm the sun will smile; for every problem there is a solution, and the soul's indefeasible duty is to be of good cheer. – William R. Alger 

Trouble's a brewin' mother. Grab the kiddies and head to the root cellar.

So, to make a snowstorm, first you need to get a plane and some.... Oh – wait. This isn’t a post on how to make snow. It’s about how to endure snow. A lot of it.

It appears that the Atlantic provinces are about to get a good old-fashioned nor’easter. But what is a nor’easter?

A nor’easter (a phrase used most commonly around New England and Atlantic Canada) refers to the direction of the wind in the storm – both north and east. Air is sucked down from the Arctic and combined with warmer air from across the Atlantic. This makes for conditions similar to a hurricane. 

Nor'easters can cause severe coastal flooding, coastal erosion, hurricane force winds or blizzard conditions. To top it off they are also accompanied by heavy rain or snow. It’s February here. Guess what we’re getting?

Nor'easters can be devastating, especially in the winter months, when most damage and deaths are cold-related (due to heavy snow, thick ice and no power/heat). Does anyone remember February 2004 in Halifax? The nor-easter White Juan brought with it 66 cm of snow.

I personally sat on my sofa and watched it accumulate against my patio doors until there was only about 12 inches at the top where you could see out.

This is White Juan, February 2004. It was named after Hurricane Juan that hit
Halifax the previous September. Just a white version. Photo: Wiki CC

Be prepared
So you should be at least a little ready for any “adverse” effects. Like no power or heat.

The Red Cross recommends the following for a WINTER storm preparedness kit:

Clothing and warmth: make sure you have – for each family member – a warm coat, hat, mittens or gloves, and water-resistant boots. Extra blankets are good as well if the power goes off and you have no heat.

Safety: have some sand or non-clumping kitty litter to help make walkways or steps less slippery. (I would include salt but you know how I feel about that and dog feet.)

Medicine: if you take prescription medicines make sure you have several days supply in case pharmacies are closed or roads are impassable.

Food and home: make sure you have canned food (that isn’t too gross if eaten cold), can opener, bottled water, flashlights and a battery-powered radio with extra batteries. If the power goes out you will be able to eat, drink, see and listen on the radio for updates.

Do not go out driving unless you absolutely have to.
Photo: One Tree Hill Studios, Flickr ccl
First aid kit
The Red Cross also recommends having a few first aid kits lying around, for example in the car, home, boat, cottage, etc. I’ve abbreviated the contents because some of it is listed above. Also continuously discard outdated items in each kit. No good using your first aid kit to poison yourself.

In it you should have:
Emergency and family phone numbers (911, doctor, mom and dad)
Wound dressings, bandages, antiseptic wipes and medical tape
Tweezers, safety pins, pencil and paper
Disposable non-latex gloves and a mask
First aid manual

So the weather starts tonight apparently. We have the day to run screaming to the stores to pick up our necessities. If you already haver storm kits, perhaps you should give them a check.

The Red Cross doesn't include one Nova Scotia storm necessity: booze. If you're safe and dry in front of the fire why not have a drink until it all blows lover. 

But ALWAYS remember, better safe than sorry. We'll see you in the morning!


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