Preparing for Ice Storm

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Egggal, Nov 28, 2005.

  1. Egggal

    Egggal Well-Known Member

    Nov 14, 2005

    So there's this big ice storm moving into our area. Any pointers on dealing with it from those who have been there?

    Any harrowing stories of those who are out in the big blizzard right now?

    The thing that strikes me as a unique challenge about these storms is how they are so broadly regional, not local things like tornados are.
  2. albionjessica

    albionjessica Hiccoughs after eating

    Oct 24, 2005
    Don't drive on highways or roads that force you to go on overpasses or bridges. Just don't drive at all if you can avoid it, because people in the lower 48 just don't know how to deal with driving in inclement weather.

    Use dirt or ash to lessen the iciness of surfaces you'll be walking on. It won't do as much damage as salt.

    Where do you live? I don't see ice in the forecast for anyone in the US... just a lot of rain and fog.

  3. delta9

    delta9 Active Member

    Mar 5, 2005
    If you need to use a chainsaw to cut up and removed downed boughs or trees, and you have lost power, don't go out there with an electric chainsaw.

    You'll feel pretty dumb.

    It's been done. Not by me, but then I don't have a chainsaw.

    If it's ice on top of snow be *very* cautious. Ice can cut you pretty bad. The most memorable ice-storm I've been through laid a half inch of ice on top of 18 inches of snow. Lotta people tripped or crunched through and fell and ended up having to get stitched up.

    Respect the ice, it means business.

    If you get a heavy layer of ice, unless someone is having a heart attack, you don't need to drive anywhere. There's competence in driving in adverse conditions, and then there's overconfidence.
  4. Wilhelm

    Wilhelm Well-Known Member

    May 31, 2003
    SW Nebraska
    It started pretty slow yesterday morning, and built until about 10 last night, and it is still going. We had almost category 1 winds last night, and I have snow drifted as high as my chicken coop, and about 20 feet long.

    I've gone out to feed and water my chickens, and to let the hounds do their business, but that is it.

    I just took them out about 5 minutes ago, and it is still blowing and snowing.

    I guess I will have to call in again tomorrow, because I am not driving 30 miles in this weather. Another day of reading and watching movies won't kill me. lol

    Tons of wind out of the north, and blowing drifting snow. Some power outages, but all is well here.

    I have seen the ice storms as well, and they are not fun. Tree branches snapping sounding like gun shots. When all was melted off we had a lot of limbs to cut up for the fire.

    Although as a kid, I thought it was so beautiful seeing everything coated with ice. Kind of tough on trees though.
  5. TamInAz

    TamInAz Well-Known Member

    Feb 11, 2005
    This is a huge reason to have a Well-stocked pantry, lots of batteries, battery radios & clocks, flashlights, candles, lanterns, propane cook stove w/extra supply of propane, supply of good water and anything else you feel you need to sustain you through a week of going Nowhere :) As others said, Stay Home. My experiences w/this was limited to the family & my experiences in NY state during N'easters. We hunkered down w/ everything we needed and played board games & stuffed ourselves <G>.
  6. Quint

    Quint Well-Known Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    Power is one of the first things to go in an ice storm especially if it gets windy. Either the lines break of trees fall on them.
    Have alternate means of warmth.
    Have an alternate means of lighting.
    Have lots of fresh batteries for flashlights and radios.
    Have plenty of fuel for your vehicles, any generators or power equipment and definitely for your chainsaw to cut any fallen trees when it is safe to do so.
    Make sure your pantry is full and you have enough water.
    Make sure you have any necessary prescriptions on hand.
    Make sure you have an adequate supply of sand or other traction aiding substance along with some salt or ice melter.
    Once you have your own situation taken care of make sure to check on any of your elderly or infirm neighbors or family members. Make sure they have enough food and supplies. If they don't have an alternate means of heating you might want to consider bringing them to your place if the power stays off for too long. Some old folks will freeze to death before asking for help.

    Do be careful on the ice. Wear ice cleats if you have them Like others have said ice can cut the devil out of you. I've got a nasty scar on my shin from breaking through ice covered snow. Smarted let me tell you. Something else to be careful with is falling tree limbs and any downed power lines. Also, not just for ice storms, but if you get any large icicles on your house or buildings be very careful. More than one little boy has got a nasty concussion and their head split open because they were knocking down big icicles that their mother had told them repeatedly to stay away from.
  7. canfossi

    canfossi Well-Known Member

    Sep 18, 2005
    Just make sure the pantry is fll of food and stay off the roads. Keep the candles and lanterns accessible and bring the wood in. Chris
  8. Beltane

    Beltane Enjoying Four Seasons

    Nov 26, 2005
    Beautiful Milton, New Hampshire
    Stay safe everyone! I'm glad to see that everyone is well prepared with all the emergency items they always say to have on hand.
  9. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    May 10, 2002
    What I REALLY missed was a good reading light.

    Candles, flashlights, and such are fine for lighting the house, but nights are long this time of year and I missed a proper light. The lights I had were too dim.

    Also, if you have a gas water heater, hot water in the tub will keep your house MUCH warmer!

    An outdoor bar-B-que WILL heat a pot of soup and cook a steak at the same time.

    Kick back with a good book, an afghan, and a hot meal, but DO get a battery powered light in the camping supplies! And, not one with a 15 watt bulb!
  10. BrahmaMama

    BrahmaMama Well-Known Member

    Nov 12, 2005
    We survived THE big ice storm, thankfully we were in the city at the time and didn't loose our power, MANY country folk did for WEEKS! Having power dosen't make it any less silent and creepy. We could here transformers blowing and everything snapping for blocks away. I'll never forget it!

    Since then, ice storms are the norm up here, and meteoralogists say it will STAY the NORM (?!?)

    DON'T bother covering your car with plastic, you'll just have to scrape that off TOO!

    If you have FRUIT TREES that you want to protect, prop up the branches w. poles and rakes etc. before the ice gets too heavy, they'll then freeze into place and keep them steady until it thaws.

    Again, like all the good advise above stock up while you can.

    If power goes out for a long time, put your stuff in the freezer out side into the cold to try to save it. Many folks lost alot of meat, Why didn't they just put it outside (?)

    And if all else fails, build a big bon-fire, put on some skates and go out and have fun. :goodjob:
  11. blinky

    blinky New Member

    Nov 24, 2005
    Just like BrahmaMama said we also survived Ice Storm '98 in Eastern Ontario. However, we lived in the country, lost power for 15 days and phone for 22 days. What an experience. The best advice I can give is stay off the roads, stay warm, and above all else make sure you and your family are safe. When we were hit with all that ice, we made sure we had candles, wood for the stove and food to eat. Once I knew we were safe I did everything I could to help others who were less fortunate. Donated food, fire wood and time. Volunteered to fire dept to pump water out of peoples basements and did house to house checks at night to make sure people were OK. Amazing what I saw, 4 people huddling around 1 candle for warmth while the neighbours house was so hot they had windows open!

    Do your best, stay positive and good luck.
  12. fordson major

    fordson major construction and Garden b Supporter

    Jul 12, 2003
    east ont canada
    we survied an ice storm quite well in 98. no power for 11 days though others were out longer.charge your cell, land line was only down for ashort while but can be down for days. if you have a gen. change the oil and top up the gas ,use sparingly. get as much gas as you can afford, chain and lock every thing. do not run gens in a porch or garage, out in the open away from flamables urea does a great job melting ice kitty litter works well as grit . do not linger under eves of buildings or branchs of trees. treat all power lines as live ,even those you "know" are dead ,backfeeds from gen hook ups and cross overs from live lines can happen. keep the frigand freezer door closed,cook any thawed food . do not take chances with spoiled food .cover wood . share and check on neighbours .stay indoors as much as possible and warm and dry. if releif shelters are set up get in contact with the personel and if you need help ask. do not sleep in a running vehicle, carbon monoxide is fast and silent.
  13. turtlehead

    turtlehead Well-Known Member

    Jul 22, 2005
    Central WV
    Good responses here.

    We recently purchased a wind-up radio that doesn't need batteries and even has a small light built into it. Wind it up and it plays for at least 30 minutes. Amazing.

    "Kerosene" lamps (the lamps with a wide fabric wick and a hurricane chimney - we burn lamp oil in ours) give off a light sufficiently bright to read by.

    Make sure you have plenty of water and foodstuffs available, and a means to heat at least some of your living space. And plenty of toilet paper. :eek:

    If you have to go anywhere remember to take sand or something in the car for traction, plenty of blankets, maybe some toilet paper and water, in case you get stranded.
  14. Oilpatch197

    Oilpatch197 Well-Known Member

    Apr 18, 2004
    SouthEastern Illinois
    We had a Ice storm in So. Illinois, a few years ago, hehe, my grandpa didn't loose power, but the lights were really Dim, a brown-out condition I guess.

    It really is different without Electricity, we take it for granted. One night power went off at work, I drove all the way home without seeing any street/yard lights, the only thing lit was the Trunkline-Pipline Natural Gas pumping station.
  15. Kazahleenah

    Kazahleenah Disgruntled citizen

    Nov 3, 2004
    Northeast Michigan zone 4b

    "you" drove in the dark?!?!?!? didn't your God light the way?? :D