Saturday, December 20, 2008

What if We're Snowed In?

It's a bit unlikely that we'll actually be snowed in, but we could lose our power and the cold water pipe leading to our sink seems to have frozen this afternoon. The pipe runs along the outside wall of the house for at least a short distance and is the only one affected at this point. Right now we have the cold tap turned on a little way and have opened the bottom cupboard doors in an attempt to get more warmth into there.

My son-in-law isn't home. He's been plowing and sanding ever since 7 am. However, he talked to Eldest Daughter on the phone and says there's really nothing else to do at this point. His hope is that the pressure of having the tap open might clear the line and I guess we're just hoping nothing has cracked inside the wall.

It's really kind of odd. I mean, it's only been down to 17 or 19 Celsius (edit: That should be Fahrenheit, of course. 19 Celsius would be a warm spring day.) and our area of the house is always very warm when they have the heat on upstairs. It was also actually colder outside a few nights ago, with no problem. But I don't know. I'm sure son-in-law will have a look at it when he can. He's scheduled to work tomorrow but I don't think union rules allow him to work 15 or so hours and then work again with less than 12 hours off in between. I'm hoping he can look at it in the morning. It's also a bit warmer now and will probably warm up another few degrees because it has clouded over and begun to snow heavily. We're actually forecast to receive 15 to 25 centimetres tonight and tomorrow (up to 10" of snow). This is just not Vancouver weather.

I'm concerned about the house but my neighbour has always been good about checking on it for us and letting me know when there was a problem. I may give them a call tomorrow though. They were saying on tonight's news that the wind chill in some parts of the Okanagan will drop temperatures to around 40 below (which is 40 below no matter which temperature system you're using). That's cold. Really, really cold.

But what if it snowed so much that we were actually snowed in for a couple of days? This is one of the reasons for always having a supply of food on hand, as well as bottled water, lamps or candles, etc. We have a coleman stove but no propane at the moment. My Eldest Daughter and son-in-law have a propane BBQ that they could use (but I can't find the adaptor kit I bought several years ago to use a large tank of propane with our stove). Possibly they still have some of the small propane containers left over from camping this summer. We have 7 or 8 gallons of bottled water, about 2 dozen Shabbat candles (that burn for 2 to 3 hours), only a few tea lights and a couple of big pillar candles that would last for a few days.

As for food, we have some basics. There's brown rice, white beans, whole wheat pasta, a big bag of oatmeal, 3 boxes of dry cereal, a few tins of tuna, apples, sugar, tea and coffee. There are some other things on the shelf too (like a box of brownie mix and another of pie crust mix) and a bunch of stuff in the fridge and freezer like hash browns, french fries, Yves ground "meat" (a soy substitute), cheese, milk, butter, eggs, carrots and so on. So we'd have enough to eat if we were stuck for 2 or 3 days and, if there's actually small propane canisters upstairs, we'd be able to cook quite nicely.

We'd stay in our bedroom for the most part, pile all our blankets and quilts on the beds and dress warmly. We'd only venture out to go to the washroom, to cook and to take Dog for walks. It probably wouldn't be the most fun we've ever had but we'd get through it without huge problems. The big thing I learned from this is that I should buy some propane.

What about you? If your power went out for 2 or 3 days how would you manage? Would you freeze? Would you have water and food? Would you be able to cook? Are your cell phones charged?

1 comment:

Bouncing Back said...

We frequently get power outages where I live, so I keep a stash of a couple gallons of bottled water (no power means no well pump), candles, flashlights, etc. My gas grill has a side burner, so I could boil water if need be. My stove is gas with and electric ignition and probably would not work. I do have a gas fire that could suffice as a heat source. I happen to live in an area that frequently gets snow. This weekend alone we had over 10 inches fall. We somehow manage.