Batten Down the Hatches. And Secure Your Loved One’s Heart.

The National Weather Service has issued…well, several warnings and / or watches, about incoming storms. The advisories and notices have been updated or changed so much this week, it’s been hard to keep track. But if there’s anything consistent in the messages about this weekend, it’s that the winds are expected to be strong, and the conditions in the mountains brutal.

Windblown Shed on Powerline.

So that means it’s definitely time to bring it in, tie it down, lock it up or otherwise secure anything that might fly away in the wind. If you have any suspect trees around, maybe don’t park under them. Other things to do today?

  • Check the batteries in your flashlights.
  • Fill up the gas-tank in your car.
  • If you have a generator and plan to use it should the power go out this weekend, now’s the time to check the fuel in it and test the unit if it’s sat unused a while.
  • Have a back up plan for anything critical that relies on electricity.
  • Pull out those board games – because nothing says “quality time with the family” like blustery weather and a power outage.

Finally, in honor of Valentine’s Day, if you really want to show your sweetie you love them, sit down and develop a family emergency plan this weekend. It doesn’t have to be complicated:

  1. Ask “what if…?”
  2. Assume that phones won’t be working.
  3. Identify a few different meeting locations in your community in addition to your home.
  4. Determine your “if we couldn’t get a hold of each other, here’s what each of us should do” plan. It doesn’t have to be perfect, or even set in stone. Your initial goal is that everyone in your family is on the same page here when it comes to who will do what and go where (for shelter, to meet up, etc.)
  5. Write down all your important contacts’ phone numbers
  6. Get yourself a few good city/county maps, and use highlighters to mark your identified meeting locations, as well as every school, community center, friends’ house, etc. along or near the routes you typically take to and from work and home, or school and home, etc. These are all potential places to seek temporary shelter in a really big incident.
  7. After you have your plan written down, print out as many copies as you need to put one at your work, school locker, vehicle glove box, etc., and put a map with each copy as well.


Scan of a Valentine greeting card dated 1909.

Scan of a Valentine greeting card dated 1909. (Photo credit: Wikipedia

So there you go – the best Valentine’s gift EVER! As for the chocolate…you can send that to us.

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