Get prepared for winter weather

This last week has been a great reminder of just how much preparation is needed when the weather becomes the enemy.

I enjoy all four seasons that we have the opportunity to experience by living in this little corner of the world.

Winter can be a real pain at times, but I would not give it up because it makes me appreciate the warmer months even more.

Several years ago, our family did not take the time or the effort to prepare our household as we should have for inclement weather.

Because of that lack of preparation we ended up suffering through several days of sporadic power outages, a limited amount of gasoline in our vehicles that limited our ability to venture out for services.

It also left us with a freezer full of spoiled food.

In the years since, we have taken the time to build up our emergency food and water supply.

Special focus has been on storing food items that can be prepared without a power source.

We also started a new habit of filling up our gas tanks whenever a storm is predicted to roll in.

Last year we stepped up our game and purchased an alternative heat source that is safe to use inside the house if things get really cold and desperate.

A neat trick that I also picked up from a friend has saved both my food and my pocket book more than once when the power went out. It was really very simple.

I started keeping two to three extra bags of ice in my freezer.  Double bagged of course to keep the water contained as it melted, these bags of ice bridged the gap and keep the food frozen until power was restored.

How prepared are you? Did you remember to cover your outside faucets and disconnect your hoses?

Do you have what you need to clear your outside stairs and sidewalks if the snow and ice moves in?

Is your car stocked and prepared for driving in the ice and snow or even worse for getting stuck out on the roads for hours as you battle your way through traffic that move inches in an hour instead of miles?

At this point, winter has just begun to wreak its havoc on us here in the Pacific Northwest.

A mixed bag of just about everything can, and should, be expected.

Spend some time this weekend taking stock of your preparations.

Pick up a few more of the items you don’t have and might need as you are out and about doing your holiday shopping.

Pay and protect yourself and your family first.

A prepared household is its own gift of comfort and security over the holidays.

More importantly check in with your neighbors, the elderly in particular.  They are extremely vulnerable when the weather is bad and services are limited.

Stay safe and warm this winter by being prepared.

Colleen Smidt is a longtime resident of Bremerton who writes weekly about political and community issues that are important to Kitsap area residents.


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