Springtime in the Rockies is terrific. We get four seasons in one day, so we can ski in the morning and golf in the afternoon. And we always get a snow dump of ultra-wet flakes that brings down branches from just about every tree around.
Two weeks ago, we had a doozy in Salt Lake City when almost 2 inches of moisture fell overnight. Combined with precipitation from the other storms last month, that's 2 inches more water than we usually get in March. With global warming keeping us wet, I predict we'll have another one or two dumpers before the valley says goodbye to our famous white stuff. As I drove to my office that Friday morning, I saw several cars smashed to smithereens under huge downed limbs and trees. I know way too many folks who lost power during the early morning hours. Rocky Mountain Power reported that more than 18,000 residents in the capital city lost power as a result of the storm, and almost 4,000 didn't get it back until more than 24 hours later.
Local LDS saints are told to prepare for disasters and assemble an emergency food supply in case of the end of days. Let's just say most of us don't have more than a small cupboard of canned foods and a freezer stocked with frozen microwavable meals. Without power, though, milk goes bad and you can't nuke your dinner. Even in summer, the power can go out and emergencies can occur. We all might do well to be a bit more prepared. Sure, you can invest in a small generator, but there are simpler ways to prepare for disaster. For example:
1. In the event of a fire, flood or earthquake, call the power company to check on outages.
2. Avoid opening and closing your fridge and freezer often. Food should last 24 to 36 hours if you keep the doors mostly closed.
3. Keep fuel for your barbecue handy, but never light your grill indoors.
4. Keep emergency candles and a few flashlights with good batteries in an area every household member can remember.
5. Search online or at local stores for 72-hour kits that include food and survival items. Go to redcross.org for suggestions on making your own preparedness kit.
6. Always have a dash kit in case you have to run from home with a stash of cash, copies of IDs and passports, batteries, cords, extra keys, blankets, shoes and clothes.
7. Finally, make sure you have pet carriers, diapers, feminine hygiene products, toilet paper, food and water for three days. Don't forget your meds, and backup any important documents on a USB stick.