Surviving the Snowpocalypse
With the incredible storm wreaking havoc on half the country, you may be wondering how to survive three days trapped in your house.
Contacting the outside world
Charge up all the cell phones in your house. Go get that old Motorola Razr out of the basement and charge it. If you’ve lost the cord, it can be charged with a regular micro USB cord. If you’re lucky, you can switch your SIM cards between phones as they die and still be able to text your best friend. Working cells should still be able to make emergency calls whether you they have service or not.
Get or find a cheap phone for your landline that doesn’t require electricity. In the case of a power failure, you can still make calls.
If your cell phone connection goes down, but your internet is still up, you can always make free calls with Google Voice. In fact, if your internet is still up, your biggest worry should be staying warm because the internet is full of free entertainment.
Preparing for a power outage
If you’re lucky enough to have a wood burning stove or fireplace, then you’re all set if the power goes out. If you don’t have one of these, you can pick up a kerosene or propane space heater to keep warm. They cost a little more than electric heaters, but may be worth it if you’re likely to be snowed in for a few days without power. Depending on your location, blankets may not be enough to keep your warm.
Stock up on batteries or gasoline if you have a generator. If you have rechargeable batteries around, charge them just in case.
Find an old fashioned battery-operated or crank radio in case of emergencies, which can also double as entertainment. Know the frequencies for your local news stations and NOAA.
Pull out your camping stove or invest in one because hot food will go a long way in keeping you warm. Have canned and boxed foods ready, such as soups, stews, macaroni, etc. Make sure you have a non-electric can opener.
Gather up extra blankets and warm clothes and you can even stock up on hand and foot warmers from sporting good stores. Other good things to have on hand are flashlights, candles and matches.
If you want to go the extra mile, get some plastic sheeting or a tarp and some duct tape in case you need further insulation or if a window breaks.
If you have pets, make sure there is enough food for them, too. Get some canned dog food you can heat up to help keep them warm as well as dry food.
You may be tempted to run your car to keep warm, but it’s actually better to save your gas (which you should fill up on right now) for an emergency. If you do run your vehicle, be sure to take precautions regarding carbon monoxide.
The obvious answer is to stock up on books you’d like to read or board games to play with your family, but if you’re someone who is always connected, it may feel like the end of the world instead of a few days stuck inside. Prepare for an internet outage by enabling tethering on your mobile phone.
Rent some movies from Redbox, iTunes or your local library. Redbox has many promotional codes and you can game the system by using different credit cards to use the same code multiple times. Netflix is a great option, but if your internet goes down, then you are out of luck and tethering won’t work for your TV.
Pawn shops are also a great place to find cheap movies and video games. If you still have your old VCR and assuming it still works, VHS movies go for 50¢ or less at a pawn shop. Outdated games and consoles are also very cheap at pawn shops. You can pick up a Nintendo GameCube game for $5 or less.
If you have a gaming console, you can also go to GameStop and browse through their older games for fun family entertainment. The Simpsons Game allows for multiple players, is pretty easy (speaking as a video game novice) and can be purchased for about $10.
Other free entertainment includes puzzles, board games, charades, and snowball fights.