Snow falls onto the lawn.

Winter weather and preparedness

Today the weather is icy. Roads are closed, schools are closed, there is no bread or milk left on the store shelves. Ahh, wintertime in Georgia.

Snow falls onto the lawn.
It’s snowing!

I listened intently to the forecasts and the closing reports as the week progressed. I checked our supplies of emergency water, the stock of salt and kitty litter. I made sure the all the UPS were ready to support the servers if we lost power and that the batteries were charged and loaded into the weather and amateur radios. By last night all the boxes were ticked on my checklist and we were able to sit back and relax. Secure in the knowledge that we were more than just ready for anything the storm decided to do, we were prepared.

Then I watched the news last night as people, in a panic, ran through the stores grabbing supplies and racing through their shopping lists before the storm arrived.  I wondered had they not been watching the same weather reports we were? Or did they not believe their news sources and the barrage of warnings from the National Weather Service? Or was this just an example of “I’m too busy to plan ahead?”

Preparedness does not need to be complicated. Being ready for a storm can be as simple as making sure you have good batteries in your flashlight.

But how do you make a great checklist? While there are great guidelines plastered all over the Internet, you can make a perfect personalised list by simply writing down those things you use or need on a daily basis. Next review your list for anything that requires utilities and add an alternate source to power that need. For example in our kit we keep several cans of soup, but our stove is electric so I also have a propane powered camp stove so we can eat our soup when the electricity is out.

Some preparedness actions are simply a matter of planning ahead. For example I always keep on hand a one week supply of our daily medications so we don’t have to worry if we can’t get to the pharmacy. Same thing goes for any consumable.. so don’t run the dog food down to the last bits of kibble – get the next bag from the store when you start getting low. Then if something happens – Rover won’t look at you with disappointment.

So I challenge you, on this so called snow day to start your checklist and be ready for whatever happens tomorrow.


~Geof “where’s my can opener” Franklin

Researching ways to improve scientist’s access to data. Programming software to solve humanity’s problems. Disseminating emergency preparedness knowledge. Sharing knowledge about science. Practicing amateur radio. Serving humanity through volunteer efforts. Drives a robot to work.


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