Oklahoma Ice Storm 2020

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Last week, parts of the Midwest were hit with freezing rain. It engulfed everything, including trees and powerlines resulting in an extraordinary amount of residences without power. For days. In fact it’s been a week and there are still thousands without electricity.

It wasn’t just homes either, many businesses that already had less revenue due to Covid were now without power as well. The post office was running on a generator to run the scanner but was without light/heat and most of the restaurants, including chains, were closed due to no power. So no dairy store, no fast food drive thru, no pizza…

ice clothesline
ice clothesline

It was cold. Some folks were lucky enough to have natural gas and/or propane heat as well a city water. This meant they could shower and have hot water for makeshift tea/cocoa/coffee/soup. Those without gas were forced to bundle up and try to keep warm and either make sandwiches or take a drive to find any food places open.

We weren’t hit too hard as we’re further south so while we did loose a few tree branches it was nothing compared to the devastation just a few miles north.

So many trees down, ripped, torn, hanging, dangling.

So, how are you set up for surviving a power outage? What if your power was out for a week (or more)? Do you have any oil lamps? Sufficient candles? Worm blankets? Easy to eat foodstuffs?

Do you have wood burning fireplace? (Not all fireplaces burn wood – a lot of new homes with a fireplace are just gas logs and not intended for burning wood.) If you have a wood burning fireplace (or stove) do you have seasoned firewood (or pellets for a pellet stove)?

ice covered sumac

Do you have solar? Or a backup generator? I ventured the other day into a HD store, that was running on it’s own generator relying on the skylights for lighting and using the generated power to run the registeres, and witnessed people standing in line to purchase chain saws and backup generators. Those tools and generators went fast. So fast that they put a sign on the front door. We are OUT of chainsaws, bar oil, generators…

Right now, you’d be hard pressed to find a generator, that is unless you want to drive a few hundred miles! But it sure wouldn’t hurt to plan on getting one in the future!

You’ll want one big enough (at minimum) to run your refrigerator and freezer so that you don’t loose food. You probably don’t need to ‘giant’ one. Determine the wattage needed and buy within your range.

Unless you’ve acquired a solar generator (and remember those only work if the sun is shining) you’ll need a way to store fuel for the generator. You’ll also need a way to get more fuel as gasoline stored only is viable for about a year.

This ice storm was a wake-up call for many. Hopefully they’ll stay awake long enough to create a plan for their future. You want to keep your family safe, fed and warm all winter.