After 2017’s Snomeggedon hit Idaho and I had over 18 inches of snow in yard and a lot of water flooding my shop I got very serious about getting prepped for “extreme weather” rather than just the normal short term disasters that can happen to anyone at anytime. When I started that winter I had plenty of Ice melt so I did not buy any during the winter. Guess what I ran out of ice melt about the same time the stores did when the snow really started getting deep. NOTE: Buy when stuff is in the store to replace what you use if possible. What you have on hand/stored may not last through the “disaster” .
I added about 150-200 pounds of “sand tubes” I could use for sanding my sidewalks for traction or place over the back wheels of a vehicle for additional traction. 150 pounds of Ice melt to use on the front sidewalk to help with melting ice but also adding some traction if it is to cold for Ice to melt. A medium size electric snowblower (21 inch SNOJOE) and 100 feet of 12 gauge electrical cord to run the blower or power from the generator. I bought a snow rake to clear the roof of excessive snow but that was not needed for this little one day’s worth of snow.
I got about 6-8 inches total of snow in this one day. We had a some snow on Friday, the day prior that I shoveled clear and put Ice melt on the front sidewalk. No Ice melt was used on the backyard sidewalk. I figure I had about 6 inches of very wet and heavy snow to shovel so it was a good time to try out the sno-blower. Overall I am pleased with the results but I could not just push the blower through the snow and walk behind the machine like I was using a lawnmower. I had to push the machine to clear the snow in sections to start clearing the sidewalk but clearing the snow was much easier than using a shovel and I think much faster than if I had to use only a shovel to clear the sidewalks.
Downside of using an electric snow-blower is that electrical cord. Especially when it is a 12 gauge cord and it is cold outside. It is a pain to get the cord to lay out flat when the cord is stored in a cold place like my shop. Using the snow-blower was worth fighting the electric cord but it could be an issue for some people. I still had to use a snow shovel to get down to bare sidewalk after using the sno-blower. Clearing off the last skiff of snow the machine missed was fast and easy, but you will still need a snow shovel to clear places the snow-blower can’t access.
This is a snow blower for areas that might get a 6-12 inches of snow in 24 hours, 1-5 times per winter season. It will clear your sidewalks and your garage pad/drive way. 18-24 inches + in 24 hours this is not the snow blower you want. But for an occasional heavy snow during an average winter in your area and if you need to clear 8 inches or less of snow, I’d say the little electric SNOJOE is a good option for under $200.00.
If you want to make shoveling snow easier always put down a little ice melt on your sidewalk or drive way before the snow hits your area. The Ice melt makes it much easier to clear the sidewalk as the snow does not turn to ice and stick to the concrete.
I did screw up on the wet cat food I buy and keep on hand as I will almost run out before I get get paid and the weather threw a little wrench on me driving to go shopping for groceries. The cats won’t starve as I have a good quality dry cat food mix always on hand for the kitties to munch on, but the kitties do like having a daily treat of wet cat food for their routine. I’m peeved at myself as I did not stock up better on canned cat food before bad weather/roads may shopping more of a challenge.
People in the Midwest and east coast ard getting slammed with cold weather and wintery conditions that are extreme for them. I figure New England people should have well insulated home and a backup heat source. Folks in Texas or the SE may not know how to stay warm in the cold because they never had to keep warm. Staying cool in summer is what they excel at and getting multiple growing seasons from plants. This is not disrespect to any southern folks dealing with the cold this week. This from a person that dealt with staying warm when its cold and the power is out.
- Mr. Buddy propane heaters. These heaters cost from $70.00-$180.00 and run on small 1 pound propane bottles or you can buy an adapter for propane tanks that most BBQ’s use. I tested a M. r Buddy heater using a battery powered fan to heat my home at 19 degrees F. I placed the heater in the backside of the house and in 45 minutes the thermostat 3 rooms away from the heater was at 65 degrees. that thermostat was about 50 degrees before I started the Heater. A 1 pound propane tank will last 4-6 hours depending if you set the heater at low or high heat.
- I’m a big fan of Kerosene lamps and fuel storage. I’m not a big fan of kerosene heaters as the heaters let off a lot of carbon monoxide while burning. Any heater you use always shut it down while you sleep. Throw on a few more blankets and don’t trust any heater without an exhaust.
- Cooking indoors in the cold: Butane hotplates for heating up food. Butane is generally one of the safest fuels to store/ use in doors as the out gasses don’t kill you in low concentrations. They use a butane/propane mix of fuel for campers in cold weather as that fuel mix is relatively safe to use in an enclosed space for short times needed to heat a meal.
You probably don’t need a wood stove in many southern areas of the USA most of the time. But Mr. Buddy heaters and a few bottles of propane can make an cold spell a bit more comfortable. A couple of Butane fueled hot plates can heat up a can of soup, boil pasta or water for coffee and tea. These items are Multi-taskers in they are great for camping, picnics or tailgate parties.