As I'm sure you have heard we here in Idaho have had some record breaking snowfall and temperatures. With snow and freezing rain, plus a warming trend that is expecting to lead to flooding it is quite possible we could be in for some power outages and blocked roadways.
To prepare for any event that may occur I did the following:
Topped off our gas tanks in both vehicles
I took both vehicles to the gas station and filled them up. I've also been making sure to keep them cleared off as much as possible and put the wiper blades straight up to keep them from freezing to the window. Our truck is chained up and ready for snow.
Made a quick trip to the store to get the things we are low on
After fueling our vehicles I drove to the grocery store to pick up extra kitty litter, toilet paper, fresh fruits and veggies, milk, a couple loaves of bread and a big package of toilet paper. I also picked up a three pack of propane cylinders for our camp stove - just in case.
Filled up water containers (in case the pipes freeze)
I keep extra containers of water on hand, but in case the power goes out and our pipes were to freeze I've been filling up our tea kettle and some other containers. Our hot water heater holds 50 gallons of water as well to use for flushing toilets and washing dishes.
Cleaned the house and got all the laundry caught up
We spent a couple hours going through the house from top to bottom giving it a good once over and cleaning it up. We vacuumed and dusted everything and mopped the floors. We also made sure all of our laundry was washed too.
Cleared more snow and made sure the storm drain wasn't blocked
We shoveled a lot of snow clearing our sidewalks, driveway and into the street as well. I also cleared out the gutter and dug the snow out around the storm drain, the water main cover and sewer manhole cover. I cleared snow and ice from around the gutters and downspout on the house and made a nice path around the porch so we didn't have a lot of snow resting against it making places for water to drain off.
Charged up the electronics
We are making sure to charge our cell phones, laptops and tablets each night. In the event of a prolonged power outage those devices would be our only communication to the outside world. Used sparingly they would be usable for several days.
Talked to my kids
Without scaring them I talked to my kids and we came up with a contingency plan. We will all keep our cell phones on us and check regularly for messages. They know what their roles will be and how we will handle whatever situation comes our way.
I keep a well stocked pantry and freezer. Nonetheless a lot of this food might not be easy and efficient to prepare on a camp stove. In order to be better prepared I made up two large pots of soup and cooked up a pot roast which was divided into meal sizes and put in the freezer. Then I hard boiled half a dozen eggs. I also made a plan for other easy to prepare meals like quesadillas, sandwiches, breakfast cereal, etc. that wouldn't consume a lot of fuel or require the use of a lot of dishes and pots and pans.
By planning and preparing ahead we are ready. The likelihood of needing to do much, if anything, is slim but I'd much prefer to be ready and not need to be than not and need to be.