Batten Down The Hatches! Snow is Coming

For you folks who have lived in the northern states, the reaction of us mid-Atlantic residents to the threat of snow must look like a bunch of panicked rats in a maze.  The reason for this panic is that most people are spoiled to the ability to run to their neighborhood [insert store here] to pick up whatever they want whenever they want it. The knowledge that they might not be able to buy bread (or beer) for a couple of days seems to strike fear in the heart of grown men.

When I hear we might have snow or ice, my first thought is to get the generator ready.  I live in a rural area that is not in the “priority” grid even though Lynn at one time had to use an electric external ventilator type device when he would try to sleep.  At that time, we were told to fill out special forms to make sure the electric company was aware of his medical need to have access to power to run necessary medical equipment.  We filled out the information and I assume it’s still on file somewhere but realistically, it didn’t seem to make any difference. With more and more people who have special needs living at home, I expect every grid has someone with a special needs form on file with the electric company so it goes back to the number of residents per grid and where they (the electric company) gets the biggest bang for their buck.

With that knowledge in mind, we decided it would be worthwhile to have a gas-powered generator with enough capacity to run a lot of devices.  We had our house wired so that when the power goes out all I have to do is throw a master switch to turn off power coming from the electric company (since there is none) and divert the power source to the generator.  Then I selectively turn on certain breakers to run equipment like the well pump, heat pump, the freezer, the TV in the master bedroom and of course, his peddler.  Then wa la, we have power….as long as we have gas.  Therefore, my priority prior to a snow storm is to make sure we have plenty of gas and the battery on the generator is working.

Since I cook his special diet in bulk, we typically have plenty of food around so I don’t need to run to the store for milk and bread.  I do check to make sure we have plenty of bottled water and if we’re predicted to have ice, I fill the bath tub and washing machine so we don’t have to run the well pump as much (got to conserve that gasoline!)

The next priority is transportation.  I move at least one vehicle near the road so I can get out if needed.  If he’s due to go somewhere soon, I put salt on the deck and ramp to make it easier once the snow stops falling to clear that area. Then I try to make sure we have a path wide enough to take his power chair through without getting the motor wet or covered in salt.

With those precautions in place, we’re ready to sit back, put in a movie (will likely lose satellite), put some soup on to eat, and enjoy the beauty of the fallen snow.

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