Island Senior: Surviving Winter Storms

Posted January 15, 2020 at 5:47 am by

Island Senior is a reg­u­lar col­umn on the San Juan Update writ­ten by Peg­gy Sue McRae…

Icy Island Road — Keli Kil­patrick photo

We islanders enjoy what is nor­mal­ly a mild cli­mate but every once in a while we get blast­ed with a win­ter storm. If you’ve lived here for a while you have sto­ries to tell of pow­er out­ages, frozen pipes, even hur­ri­cane force winds blow­ing out docks and knock­ing over trees. Rarely is it that dra­mat­ic, but all the more rea­son to be prepared.

The San Juan County/Town of Fri­day Har­bor Depart­ment of Emer­gency Man­age­ment web­site has a wealth of infor­ma­tion. As a first step they rec­om­mend being pre­pared to stay home, pos­si­bly with­out pow­er, for two weeks. That means hav­ing food, drink­ing water, bat­ter­ies and books. This is not just good advice for storms but rec­om­mend­ed for all kinds of pos­si­ble emer­gen­cies includ­ing earthquakes.

When antic­i­pat­ing a wind­storm, before it hap­pens anchor down items that could blow away. Fill your gas tank. If you use life-sus­tain­ing equip­ment reg­is­ter it with your util­i­ty. If you have a land­line phone this is when you will appre­ci­ate it and it is one rea­son I have kept mine. They work when the pow­er is out.

Dur­ing a high wind­storm avoid dri­ving if at all pos­si­ble, stay away from pow­er lines. If the pow­er goes out dis­con­nect heaters and appli­ances and unplug your com­put­er to pro­tect it from a pow­er surge when the pow­er comes back on. Con­serve water and be very care­ful with can­dles and kerosene.

When the weath­er dips below freez­ing drip your faucets and leave cup­boards below fix­tures open to give some house­hold warmth to your pipes. If your pipes do freeze know how to shut off your water in case when they thaw out they are dam­aged. If using a fuel fed heater be sure you have good ventilation.

A stack of tor­tillas, a block of cheese, and a few cans of beans are my go to emer­gency food. It is easy to make a sat­is­fy­ing meal out of these ingre­di­ents on top of a wood stove. Fruits and nuts, trail mix or oth­er foods that require no cook­ing are also handy to have around. I used to won­der what to do with all the Yan­kee style can­dles in jars that I often get for Christ­mas. I’ve dis­cov­ered they are the best thing for a pow­er out­age, heavy enough not to tip over eas­i­ly and with the safe­ty fea­ture of being con­tained with­in the glass.

For more infor­ma­tion check out these links. 

Link to: The San Juan County/Town of Fri­day Har­bor Depart­ment of Emer­gency Management

Link to: OPALCO Win­ter Storm Checklist

Link to: OPALCO Gen­er­a­tor Safe­ty Tips

You can support the San Juan Update by doing business with our loyal advertisers, and by making a one-time contribution or a recurring donation.


Categories: Island Senior, Safety, Weather

No comments yet. Be the first!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

By submitting a comment you grant the San Juan Update a perpetual license to reproduce your words and name/web site in attribution. Inappropriate, irrelevant and contentious comments may not be published at an admin's discretion. Your email is used for verification purposes only, it will never be shared.

Receive new post updates: Entries (RSS)
Receive followup comments updates: RSS 2.0