About Ice Storms and Me

by Elouise

Australia King Parrot and DAF, P1100727

Truth: God didn’t forget or forsake me. Even if no one had stopped by my house after the ice storm, I would still believe that.

An irony: Even though D officially retired recently, he still travels for the organization. As it happens, right now he’s doing just that—though we don’t have ice storms on the horizon just yet.

And a puzzle: Guess where D is. The photo above is the only visual clue you’re going to get! However, notice the following:

  • The King Parrot
  • D’s shirt and backpack straps
  • Items just behind him
  • Exit sign
  • How happy he is

Enough clues. On to the point of this post.

So Elouise, what’s changed since that ice storm? Are you better prepared to be alone in the house under similar circumstances?

Maybe. I’ll tell you after it happens! In the meantime, I added several items to my arsenal of emergency equipment for power failures.

  • If officials would get serious about putting wires underground—as some smart countries now do—we could avoid some of this preparedness drama.

Back to the post:

One of the friends who came by my house on the 5th day of no electricity gave me a short hands-on tutorial. This was ironic, since he was once one of my academic advisees and students. He stressed the following two points.

  • Turn off key water spigots (laundry room, basement…). You don’t want frozen pipes to burst.
  • Get a NOAA radio! NOAA stands for National Oceanic and Atmosphere Association. Why a NOAA radio? It has 24-hour non-stop information about weather in the vicinity, at the shore, and in the Pocono Mountains.

I ordered the version he recommended. Here’s a link if you’re interested. It’s been replaced by a newer model.

When D got home after the ice storm, he ordered a few more items to make sure we had USB ports for charging small electronic devices such as cell phones.

We already had headlamps and portable outdoor and indoor lights. No candles unless they’re in glass or ceramic containers with sturdy heatproof bases. We keep canned and boxed food in the house, plus bottled drinking water, a couple of portable picnic coolers, and frozen artificial ice for the coolers. Also snow shovels, ice melt and Yaktrax for each of us.

Emergency outages usually feel like great adventures. Then there are occasional unexpected fiascos like the intensity of that ice storm. Are we ready? Never. Still, it doesn’t hurt to have some items squirreled away.

Have you figured out where D is?

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 5 November 2015
Photo credit: I don’t know. Could be a selfie, but probably isn’t.