I find it deeply ironic that after years of survival training and backwoods knowledge acquisition that I would be LEAST likely to survive a major disaster due to my medical condition. Instead I am trying to help keep famly and friends alive and am amazed at how HARD that is. Common sense is NOT common. Logic is rare and I have six people on my street running their cars now so they can clean them when they might want the gas later when the power goes out to keep their cars and themselves warm. Stupid, stupid, stupid.
So some tips for the Snowpocalpse for those who do not have their heads up their asses.
DO NOT RUN YOUR CAR. Let the snow and ice accumulate on them. It WON’T hurt them. They have anti-rust layers, and paint jobs to protect them. SAVE YOUR GAS. You might need it when your house power goes out and you need a warm place to rest, or a drivable car to take a sick or injured person to safety.
KEEP EXHAUST PIPES CLEAR. When sheltering in your car, make sure your exhaust pipe is clear to avoid toxic gas build up. Run your engine intermittently as needed in moderate cold. Or continuously at idle in extreme cold (so engne does not freeze) but turn off anything that uses extra power. You don’t need your tunes on or lights on to stay warm.
Keep food and water in your car (at bare minimum – I have a 72 hr bug out bag and tools in my car) and do not wear coats, gloves, or hats inside a warm room or vehicle. Save those for when the gas runs out.
IF IN YOUR HOME…run all spare containers full of water. This includes bathtubs and sinks you won’t be using. And remember your toilet tank contains clean water unless you are one of the idiots that treats your toilet water that way.
COOK A MINIMUM OF THREE DAYS OF FOOD in advance and refrigerate it. If the power stays on, keep cooking and eat the freshly cooked foods first. At worst you’ll have leftovers when the temperature rises.
If the power goes out you’ll have food to eat (and you can refrigerate it in coolers outside or in non-running cars).
WEAR ONLY BASE LAYERS IN WARM SPACES. As Arctic and Antarctic workers and Ice Truckers can tell you, sweat kills. You DO NOT want a layer of water on your skin or beneath your clothes in cold weather. Add layers only as the temperature drops and REMOVE them if you exert yourself. Heavy work in many layers can lead to sweating and thus hypothermia. If possible keep exertion to a low level.
CHARGE your cell phone, IPad, MP3 players, and laptops to full while the power is on and keep them plugged in if you can while using them.
Have at least one old fashioned RADIO on hand. A weather, FRS/GMRS/NOAA radio, shortwave or hand crank radio is even better.
Make sure all FLASHLIGHTS contain fresh batteries and that you have spares on hand.
Set aside a room to CONSOLIDATE all blankets, sweaters and jackets if your home gets cold. Share body heat and remain in sheltered covered places – even just a blanket pile – whenever possible.
GO TO THE BATHROOM often while the power is on. Defecate if you can. FLUSH EVERY TIME. If possible, urinate in a designated pot or trash can and dispose of waste outside your home. Do not fill up your toilet. Defecation into a covered can or pot and burial of waste outdoors is advised in extreme conditions.
DO ALL DISHES while power is on to prevent conditions where mold or germs can grow if you are trapped indoors.
IF WORST COMES TO WORST
GO SOMEWHERE SAFER!!!
BUT IF YOU CAN’T:::
SAVE PAPER TRASH FOR BURNING— and dig a GRASS FREE/ WEED FREE pit in a wind sheltered part of your yard or use a deep steel pot to make a contained fire pit OUTSIDE your home. Use it to heat water or food ONLY if ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY.
DO NOT RELY ON SNOW MELT FOR WATER. Snow is mostly air and large amounts of it are required to make even small amounts of drinkable water.
Dry washing with snow is a better alternative to melting water (and wasting fuel) to wash skin.
And that should do for the area I live in. If you are further north, other precautions are advised but I won’t list them here.