Here in OK we got a heck of a wallop. All the computer models showed we should get 14" of snow, but forecasters just couldnt believe it and so they prophesied that we would get 4"-7" which means people expected 2"-4". We got 14.1" And thats a lot. A lot for people thinking they could do what they needed to do on Christmas Eve and get home.
And you all know how busy Christmas Eve is anyway - so add to it all this snow and things were ugly and got ugly FAST.
My Hubs took my truck that day which was good but he also took my oldest child which made me a nervous wreck when the entire state of OK was put under a State of Emergency. There were highways where the only thing moving was the National Guard. I will tell you this, I didnt eat anything until my family walked through the door, which wasnt a good thing - snack in an emergency even though you wont feel like it. Also - I now know the best websites that update traffic situations and I am good on Google Earth (which has an unbelievable creepy factor since it shows real photos....)
My husband spent 4 hours a mile away from our house because of one old lady in a truck. He finally walked up to the front to see what was going on and the guy behind him went too and they got her out of the way - Hubs was home just 10 minutes later.
It was ugly and it was insightful.
Here is what we learned:
1 - Dress like you are going to have to walk home - not just in and out of a store. If you dont dress for it, at least throw your boots in the back of the truck. My hubs would have been fine on the walk, but my daughter wasnt - remember your kids.... They may roll their eyes, but make throw their winter gear in the truck.
2 - Just because you have a truck doesnt mean you know how to use it or are qualified to be driving. That iPhone or whatever isnt worth your life or someone elses'. Write an IOU and give at Christmas - I got one for a pair of boots :)
3 - Having a winch on your truck is fabulous! We pulled 3 out on Christmas Day on our way to my parents and 1 out today. The Hubs and I are fast at it now and get a car out of a ditch in about 5 minutes. And that counts turning around and asking if they need help. This is also a great feeling. It makes you smile - it makes them smile - and you use and become familiar with your gear.
4 - In a true apocalyptic situation it would be hard....emotionally.... John saw one family that ditched their car Christmas Eve and had to carry a grandmother/mother that couldnt walk. He couldnt help as he was stuck unable to move (see above) and they were just looking to walk to the nearest hotel - about a mile from where he was. Knowing you would pass those that you just couldnt help - knowing that things were going to be impossible for them would be very difficult, at least for me, and knowing my kids would probably witness it means I may spend some time in thought about how I would answer questions and give comfort. Questions like "Dad, can we help them?" will be hard to answer.
5 - Always - ALWAYS have a folding shovel in your car - PERIOD....
6 - People wait for someone else to rescue them - those people make it hard for those that can take care of themselves. This old lady had my husband sitting 4 hours - 4 HOURS. She just sat there - waiting - waiting for someone to step up and make it right for her. My hubs and a few other men did that - but they werent doing it for her. They did it for themselves - my Hubs did it for the child he had in the car. If you think you will be able to bug out and leave everything behind, that isnt likely. You will have those waiting for help that you need to do something about in order to be on your way. This could be a dicey situation. No one could drive on and just leave this lady behind. She was sitting in the only passable lane....
7 - Always have a map - dont rely on your cell phone or your memory - those tiny streets that go through you just dont think about would be easy to spot on a map.
8 - Always - ALWAYS - go to the bathroom before you leave any place.....enough said about that.....
All the above is in addition to having your truck or car stocked with food - water - matches - medical kit - blankets and a full tank of gas, yada yada yada..... You know the list ;)
I hope this snow found you home, warm and safe. If you were out in this, you know what I am talking about. This was a good trial run and I am proud of how my husband handled himself and how my daughter helped him. She didnt freak and did what was asked when asked. (She had to stick her head out of the window at one point to navigate for Hubs because of the white out situation.)
As always -
Pray - Praise - Prepare and go check those winter car preps now.....I hear we may get more snow this Wednesday....Have mercy.... :)