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Friday, January 29, 2010

On Snow and Ice and Planning

Jean Sexton reports:

Steve and Leanna Cole and Steven Petrick are snowed in, as are the rest of the staff at ADB, Inc. You have probably heard about the snow in Texas. Steve Cole told me that even if the interstate were clear, he couldn't get far out of his garage without hitting a two-foot-high snowdrift. Steven Petrick would have to unsnow (I nearly wrote unearth, but earth isn't what is covering his car) his vehicle then get to the interstate.

I know that they all would rather be at work -- SVC has a bad case of cabin fever. He's a "hands-on" manager in many ways and letting ADB, Inc. drift while he brushes the cats is not in his nature.

Just as the Steves and Leanna dig out, it looks like ADB, Inc. East is about to get "interesting" weather. As of my writing this entry in the StarBlog, the forecast is calling for me to get up to half an inch of ice. With the forecast winds, that will bring down branches. My home is pretty close to the end of a run of the power lines -- looking cross-eyed at the lines anywhere along the line means I lose power. Luckily I do my best proofreading on paper and I still have a land-line telephone, so I won't be isolated (the cell phone pick up is iffy out here).

ADB, Inc. believes in planning ahead for potential "situations". We charged our cell phones, topped off the cars so we'd have fuel, made sure we had liquids (for us and our furkids) and food that doesn't need heating. We have flashlights and spare batteries. We have folding money (if the poser is out or networks are overloaded, debit and credit cards might not work). Any prescriptions have enough for a week of being stuck.

With ice coming, I took down all the hanging baskets so they wouldn't bend the poles. I brought in garden ornaments that might not survive ice on them. I made sure that my dog got a good run while I was outside doing all of that and that I had my cell phone with me so I could keep my promise to the Steves and be safe. (I am most assuredly Ralph's person and he won't let anyone mess with his person.)

Getting ready for this storm took very little time because ADB, Inc. and I have "disaster plans". I have a written list of what needs to be done and when. Where I live, going to the grocery store when frozen precipitation is expected within 24 hours is a trip where there are frantic people, trying to get supplies, many of which are sold out. I try to buy what I think I will need early so I both get my supplies and avoid wasting time standing in lines. This gives me time to do things like deal with things outside.

We encourage all of you to develop a disaster plan that works for you. When a problem strikes, make note of what things you missed doing (my list includes making sure my Fuze is charged because that includes a radio and it includes taking down hanging baskets because I had a pole bent nearly at right angles because I didn't do that once). Try dry runs with your children, especially if you have a spot where you should all gather. (It's far better to find out now that a child thinks you mean the neighbor's rose garden near his window than it is during an emergency.)

Then when a situation arises, it isn't a disaster, because you've planned ahead and know what to do. So ask yourself what would you do if you were likely to have a storm and start making your list!