Tuesday, January 26, 2010
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?