Tuesday, January 26, 2010

What to Have on Hand During an Oklahoma Ice Storm

Snow Day 2009

You can't say the word "ice" within earshot of Oklahoma without scaring the living daylights out of us. Blistering heat we can handle. Straight-line winds, no problem. Tornadoes are a spectator sport around here.  We whine when it snows but for the most part, we can take it.

As for ice, hell no, we won't go.

In making my own preparations for the impending ice storm, forecast to be worse than our Christmas Eve 2009 blizzard and comparable to the legendary Ice Storm of 2007, I did a quick search for a checklist of items I should have around the house, just to make sure I don't forget something small but vital.

Here's a list from FEMA. Here's one from the National Weather Service (scroll, baby, scroll). Here's a PDF from the Red Cross. Here's more from the Ice Storm 2007 site at TulsaWorld.com.

Basically, it's all about water, firewood, batteries, candles and non-perishable food. Any Oklahoman who survived the 2007 storm can tick these winter storm safety items off from memory.

But, what about the things we didn't know we'd need until we needed them? Here are a few I had to do without.

Plenty of clean clothes. When our power went out not long into the storm three years ago, our house lost heat more quickly than I like to recall. Trouble was, I hadn't done laundry. I didn't have much that was clean to put on to keep the chill away. That I was pregnant and didn't have much that fit in the first place didn't help matters. Word to the wise: If you didn't finish your laundry over the weekend, finish it tonight and tomorrow. Your fancy laundering machines may not have a power source come Thursday night after ice has been raining down on our power lines for a few hours.

Toilet paper. Okay? Okay.

Cornstarch. Think of it as dry cleaning for your hair. After several days without hot water and the electricity needed to see yourself in a mirror, let alone to power your hair styling appliances, your hair might resemble an oil slick or worse. That's no good if you're one of the folks who can't miss work, no matter how bad it gets outside. A little sprinkle on the oily parts and a thorough brush-through will do you good. Ladies, if you're smart and you've been growing out your hair since the Ice Storm of 2007, you can sport a ponytail like the rest of us. Grab some hair ties while you're out and about stocking up.

Stuff to keep your mind busy. When the power's out, there's not much to do - not anything that we're overly used to doing, anyway (except for one certain thing - see below). Idea: Hit your local library branch tonight or tomorrow and stock up on books for you, books for the kids, books for everybody. Don't forget candles to read by and matches to light them. Another idea: Spring for a few of those silly-looking board and card games you've been curious about. They might be worth their weight in gold come Friday afternoon.

Contraceptives. If I'd had some, it would have been a little late in coming - I was six months pregnant with my son in Dec. 2007. But, did anyone else notice how many babies there were at the Tulsa State Fair in September/October 2008? I'm just sayin'.

Now, think. What did you wish you'd had during the Christmas Eve 2009 blizzard, or the 2007 ice storm?


Carrisa said...

We lost power for a week. Thom stayed at home with the dogs. (his place of employment was also powerless)

My workplace never lost power and I stayed with my sister in Jenks who never lost power.

I wish we would have had fire wood. I bet it won't be as bad this time since they cut away so many trees. A girl can pray right?

Tasha said...

I'm praying, too, Carrisa. It couldn't be as bad as it was in 2007 AGAIN, right? I mean, right?

*Continue hysterical list-making*

Tara said...

Just have to add that I have an ice storm nephew...

Brigid said...

I was too cranky to have needed contraception during the 2007 ice storm.

Anonymous said...

My only problem is that I gained at leat 5 lbs. and for a 5'2"person, it feels like 20 lbs.

Tasha said...

Tara! YES! That's right, isn't it? Oh, I love that.

Kristen said...

I've been thinking of back-up cooking methods, since we are all electric. So - the gas grill is ready to go with propane & we are stocked on canned soups that can be cooked on the grill with pots & pans!

Toilet paper!! The one thing I hadn't thought of - THANK YOU!!

swb311 said...


What about a Generator, a Kerosene or Propane Heater, 4x4 or Tire Chains, Canned Food, Drinking Water, etc???

Anonymous said...

Don't forget Cash. ATM's will not work if power is out.

Tasha said...

swb311: In the fourth paragraph of this post I gave four lists from emergency agencies and local media on what to have on hand during an ice storm. It wouldn't have made any sense for me to preempt my own list of must-haves with four lists that already do that. So, I made a list of stuff that wasn't on those must-haves lists - nonemergency stuff, really, creature comforts - that would help folks get through the storm a bit more comfortably. Right? Right.

Anonymous - CASH. Yes, cash. Fantastic idea.

Maria said...

I complained on facebook that you posted this almost immediately after I LEFT the grocery store, but, I think I'm good.

1) I do need to do laundry tonight, but I have everything I need and don't need to go to the store for this one :)

2) Recently made a trip to Sams Club. Good on this one too.

3) I have some baby powder for this reason.. but I also have a gas water heater so showers shouldn't be a problem.

4) This might be a problem, but I've got board games out the wazoo and I can go charge my iphone in the car :) (NEED TO FILL UP WITH GAS TOMORROW)

5) I'm good on this one too :)

Great list though!

Tasha said...

Something else, folks - if you have prescriptions due for a refill before Wednesday or so, call 'em in tonight and pick 'em up first thing in the morning before the weather gets too nasty.

Lost City Denise said...

Great list! You forgot to add chocolate and yarn!

Tasha said...

Denise! I forgot CHOCOLATE! Yarn I have (in quantity), but chocolate? Shoot. It's still at the store.

Mandy @ The Party of 3 said...

Yeah! This ice storm will be the latest "baby boom"! LOL! Came across your blog today thought I would say hey! We are prepared for the upcoming storm...I think;)

Brodricks said...

I was laughing when you were talking about contraceptives. I try and keep everything else around the house so that we are good and I ran yesterday and got the last few things that were perishable that we needed. But at the top of my list was WALGREENS - BIRTH CONTROL PILLS. I just wanted to make sure that I have everything!

Brodricks said...

I can do without bread, but my pills???? NOPE!

Nicole Nascenzi said...

I used this as evidence to my hubby that I was not the only person making lists to get prepared...thanks Tasha!

Tasha said...

I'm right there with you, Brodricks. Surely there are a couple of calories in one of those pills, right?

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