Prepper 101: A Case to Prepare Early

Cooking with Kerosene Heater - This guy prepared early
By kc7fys ) [Creative Commons], via Flicker
As I write this, my area will be coming under a Winter Storm Warning, with predicted accumulation of up to 1/2″ of ice.  Now this is what we dread in the south.  We can handle snow fairly well, but usually we get some ice mixed in that makes travel a pure hell and snaps power lines and large branches like match sticks.  It either comes as freezing rain changing to snow (so there’s a nice slick layer of it under the snow) or the snow melts and then refreezes.  We’ve dodged at lot of winter precipitation this winter, but from the looks of the radar, our luck just ran out.

Grocery Stores: Prepare Early to Avoid Crowds

In the south, you stay away from the grocery stores about this time.  It was rather bustling when I stopped by.   I needed a few ingredients for chili that I wanted to make this evening, but I could’ve skipped it if I felt like it.  Everything looked to be in stock so far, but there have been many occasions when bread and milk are gone.

Hardware: Prepare Early to Get What You Need

I stopped by the big box hardware stores to pick up a few miscellaneous items and thought I’d check to see if there were any space heaters marked clearance.  There were no electric space heaters.  Or propane.  Or kerosene.  In two stores, I saw one heater and it was one of those electric fireplaces.  And those are pretty nice and work well.  Unless, oh say an ice storm and wind storm knocks out your power during subfreezing temperatures.  It’s not like they had them and had a run on them today.  They have the air conditioners out already.   Luckily,  I was just looking for deals and hopefully I won’t lose power tonight.  But if I do, I’ve got multiple ways to stay warm.  On the plus side, there were a few generators in stock.  They’ll need that and more if power lines start snapping.

Remember, your gas or oil fired furnace doesn’t work when the power is out.  They need power to run their controls and fans.  It’s always a good idea to prepare early and have some backup heat in the winter.  A set of gas logs, a propane or kerosene space heater, or a wood stove are all useful sources of heat when the power’s out.

The lesson: Prepare Early.  Anybody looking to purchase a backup heat source today around here is just out of luck.  What are your tidbits on preparing early (before the storm hits)?

UPDATE 8:47am 3/3/2014: It’s morning and there is about a 1/4″ layer of ice on everything.  Power is still on here, but if goes out, I’m set for a while.  Not so with one of my old friends.  She’s shivering in her home with her newly adopted puppy with no power and no backup heat.  Normally it’s a 30 minute drive to her place.  I can’t even get there right now to bring her a heater.  Prepare early folks.