Two to three feet of snow. That’s what the forecast is calling for in parts of Maine. Mother Nature is making up for lost time. I went exploring in the woods around Upper Oxbrook Lake on Saturday thanks to bare ground. Today I’m getting ready for the storm. Here’s a list of things to do to get ready for tomorrow’s storm.
- Buy the last loaves of bread, gallons of milk and bottles of Allen’s available. Personally, I’ll be having a glass of red wine, another perfectly acceptable choice during a storm. Drive as far as necessary but watch out for traffic on the road and in the store. Days like this are when people run up your heels with their carts in their frenzy to be prepared. (We have to have a sense of humor at a time like this.)
- If you don’t have a way to cook if the power goes out you should add some sandwich stuff to the cart if there’s room beside the bread, milk and drinks.
- Turn the vehicles around in the driveway. If you have to get out it’s easier to drive forward than back out, and it’s safer. It’s easier to get to the battery if the car’s facing out.
- Charge everything. Phone, laptop, lantern, batteries and other gadgets. I use a Luci solar lantern. It’s bright, long lasting and can be charged in the window if the power and sun are out.
- Bring the shovels in the house. They won’t be lost when the wind blows them over and snow buries them if they’re indoor. You can dig your way out. While you’re out there, grab anything on the porch if you want to see it again before the end of March.
- Refill the wood box or bring in an extra bag or two of pellets. Clean the ashes out of the stove.
- If you’re on a well and depend on electricity to have water, fill the tub, buckets, pans and coffee maker with water. I’m going to change the water in the fish tank today. It’s full of bait fish left over from ice fishing.
- Get out the extra scarves, mittens, gloves and snow pants. By the time the storm is over you’ll want to send the kids outside to play. Convince them the shovels are toys and you’re golden. Good luck with that. (Not advised for children shorter than the snowdrift outside the door.)
- Have the snowshoes ready to go. If you have any energy left after clearing snow from the driveway, sidewalk, walkways and back porch you can go for a snowshoe and enjoy the beauty left behind by the storm. Cross country skis, sleds and snow block makers are fun, too.
- Bring the pets in.
- Blanket forts, snacks, a flashlight, games, paper and colored pencils, and books are a great combination for kids at any time. When you add a blizzard to the mix a blanket fort takes on a new level of excitement.
- Turn off the kids’ alarm clocks. They aren’t going to school tomorrow. Not that they were getting up just because the alarm went off but anyway…
- Run around yelling loudly in your best alarming voice about the epic blizzard. Forget that this is Maine, that it’s January and that blizzards happen. Pretend the world is ending and join in the fun. (Best experienced with your favorite storm sweater.)
On a serious note, stay in and safe tomorrow, and check on your neighbors.