NORTH ALABAMA: ARE YOU WINTER WEATHER READY? And what exactly does that mean?
This Wednesday night (3/4) and Thursday morning (3/5), Alabama is expecting severe winter weather that the NWS originally had labeled “disastrous.” I am not sure I entirely agreed with the adjective “disastrous,” but it wass definitely going to suck. All models agreed that Alabama was getting it, but they disagreed on the time Alabama was going to be hit by it.
So are you ready for what comes with it? Because you really don’t need bread and milk.
North Alabama was originally expecting 1/2″ to 3/4″ of ice accumulation with single-digit temps followed by snowfall, but models are now showing 1/4″ ice accumulations with low to mid-teen temps. That much ice accumulation puts tree limbs and power lines in jeopardy of coming down, which means you could lose power: even lose it for several days if crews cannot get out right away. Your milk isn’t going to do you any good in a fridge without power (or outside where it will freeze solid).
So what do you need?
Make sure you have non-perishable food items.
Make sure your car’s gas tank is full in case power is out for an extended period and gas stations are shut down. It will not hurt to fill your gas cans, either. If you do not use them, then that is one less thing you have to do in a month when it is time to mow your lawn the first time.
Make sure you have an alternative way to cook food if you have an electric stove in your house and you lose electricity. A camp stove or grill are great ways to cook when the power’s out. If you have a charcoal grill, make sure you have a few bags of charcoal ready to go. If you have a propane grill, make sure your tank is at least 1/2 full. If you have a camp stove, make sure you have enough mini-propane tanks.
Make sure you have bottled water. Freezing pipes is a big possibility, and thanks to single-digit temps, not just the ones inside your house, but the larger one coming to your house from the street may freeze as well, cutting water off to your house completely. Make sure your bottled water is not in your garage: bottled water is no good to you if it is frozen solid.
Make sure all your electronics are fully charged. Make sure you have a supply of batteries ready to go for battery-operated electronics, flashlights, LED Lights, etc. If you lose power, only use your phone for emergencies to conserve battery life. Make sure you turn off your WiFi on your phone so it does not waste battery searching for a WiFi signal. If cell service goes down, put your phone on airplane mode to conserve battery and check every few hours to see if cell signal is back. If you have an inverter for your car, that is great, but remember to start your engine and run it for a few minutes while you are using the inverter. Inverters can drain batteries quickly, especially older batteries or batteries that have been jump-started before. Keep in mind that using the inverter, and thus running the engine, is using your gas, so be mindful of how much you use it.
Keep flashlights or lanterns nearby and ready to go. Make sure you have lighters/matches to light any candles or kerosene/propane lanterns you have. Make sure lighters and matches are in an easy-to-find place so you are not digging for them in the dark.
You should already have a NOAA Weather Radio. If you don not have one, do yourself and your family a favor and spend the extra money next payday to buy one. The NOAA Weather Radio is an invaluable asset, especially if you cannot hear tornado sirens where you live, sirens do not wake you up when you are sleeping, or the power goes out so you cannot get Internet or TV news. The NOAA Weather Radio can SAVE YOUR LIFE!
Make sure any prescription medication is easily accessible so you are not fumbling in the dark trying to find your pills. If you are running low on one and it is ready for a refill, take care of that now: not the day the storm is supposed to be on top of you.
Your house should already have a first-aid kit and fire extinguisher in it. Make sure everyone knows where those are at and they are easily accessible in the dark.
Make sure you have a heat source in case you lose power: wood or Chemlogs for the fireplace (please make sure your chimney vent is open before lighting a fire), extra blankets, etc. If the power goes out, you can cover windows with blankets or sheets to help keep cold air at bay and keep the inside of the house warmer just a little bit longer. Close off unused rooms to keep the heat from moving into the rooms (and their cold air from moving into the used rooms). Place towels, rags, pillow cases, etc. along the bottom of doors or windows with bad weather stripping to keep the cold air out and the warmer air inside. Dress in layers.
Don’t forget about your pets. Your pets need to come inside. It doesn’t matter if your pet is outside the rest of the year – your pet cannot handle single-digit temperatures and their food and water will freeze. Bring your pets inside and make sure they have plenty of food and water. Don’t forget to take into account your pets when getting bottled water.
Talk to everyone in your household about safety and evacuation plans. Where is the safe places to hunker down within your house to ride out a storm? Where is a safe place to meet if you are separated during a storm event, evacuation, etc? Have a practice drill now and then (at least twice a year) to make sure everyone is familiar with the plan and can execute it properly.
Have a “bug-out bag” ready to go. This doesn’t mean you need a prepper bag full of seeds and ammunition. It means you need the basics ready to go in case something happens (like a tree falling on your house, or a lightning strike causing a house fire). Underwear, change of clothes, toiletries, baby diapers, etc. One thing people often forget is important paperwork. Scan your important documents and put them on a small flash drive (or CD-R) that can go in your bag (marriage license/certificate, mortgage, insurance paperwork (auto,car & life), birth certificates, etc). This should be in your room where you can grab it quickly as you escape your house. Your bag should also contain some cash because an extended power outage means no credit card readers are going to be working.
Make sure your ICE (In Case of Emergency) contacts are updated in your phone.
Stay calm. Don’t panic. Panic leads to bad decision making. Be aware of your surroundings. Stay safe and stay warm.
BWAHAHA (Blair’s Week Attempts at Haha’s) 2/21 – 2/27: I guess all that panic was worth it since Snowmageddon actually happened here in Alabama. Average snowfall for my area was 7.75″ with some places reporting over 9″. In my backyard we got 7.67″ (based on the average of five measurements on a large flat non-grass & non-concrete surface). That’s a lot of snow for Alabama. Our personal record at our house was 11.96″ back in 2011. The record for Huntsville was set in the 60’s at 17.1″. Craziness!!!! I’ll put up a blog entry for my storm chasing that day. And now we’ll likely get some more ice and snow this coming Wednesday and Thursday. Well, I guess we had it coming since we started issuing gay marriage licenses. <evil grin>
This week brought me a ray of happiness and sunshine as Jimmy did this on his show. One of the things that pisses me off the most is anti-vaxxers who espouse their ignorance every day and cause more and more people to fall for their claptrap, thus reducing herd immunity and bringing back diseases we had practically eliminated thanks to vaccines. So to see this on a mainstream show put a giant grin on my face. Way to go Jimmy!!!!
Then I found this gem. I don’t know how I missed this back in 2008, but I’m happy I found it today.
This storm is taking forever to get here. From 0300 to 0900 and now extended again. If it sits over us as long as it sat over Texas, we could see inches on the higher side of the “possible.” Or it’ll just fucking rain.
C’mon… you can do it! C’mon! C’mon! C’mon! My laughter will be covering up tears if it just frickin’ rains here.
If you work out of the home, a “snow day” don’t mean a damn thing. Enjoy your day off assholes! ;)
A lot of people are talking about their sexual exploits from last night on social media. We don’t care how many inches you got last night!
“I’ve noticed that about your people, Doctor. You find it easier to understand the death of one than the death of a million.” #RIPSpock
140 CHARACTER ASSASSINATIONS:
Momma said knock you out, Rick gonna knock you out! #TWD #TheWalkingDead #deadbuzz
Wait… now I’m confused, is the ISIS Flag black and white or gold and blue? #TheDress
Look at these gold-colored starving children! #TheDress
Playing Chicken With Doing Dishes #RoommatesIn5Words @midnight
Oh, rents due? My bad. #RoommatesIn5Words @midnight
What is that fucking smell? #RoommatesIn5Words @midnight
That’s the appropriate level of security for those toys.
Oh look, the bathroom comes with an atheist baby changing station! (Mmm… BBQ baby!)
It’s cool ’til a drunk person stumbles and impales themselves. Of course, if it’s a good party, no one will notice.
BWAHAHA (Blair’s Week Attempts at Haha’s) 2/14 – 2/20: Alabama and some other parts of the South got dumped on this week a couple of times. Cities shut down as Snowmageddon started and the Snowpocalypse began. Sure, we give the South shit for it, but to be fair, there’s no reason for them to invest in the resources to deal with the snow that occurs rarely down here. It would just be a waste of tax dollars. So enjoy your snow day at home. Well, unless you’re like me and work at home, which means you never get a snow day – it just means you have to deal with everyone else being at home with you when you’re normally by yourself. I’ll put up a separate blog entry with all the snow pictures and videos of the roads, etc.
Valentine’s Day happened, as it always does. I’m not a fan of Valentine’s Day for many reasons and I was worried about having to go through the crap this year since this is Suzie and I’s first Valentine’s Day together. But nope, Suzie is amazing and all we did was have a nice dinner at home: steak and crab legs. Well, she ate the crab legs, because the only seafood I like is hushpuppies.
#TheWalkingDead #Skyrim #Mashup
I love you the same today as I did yesterday, but apparently I’m supposed to love you more for 24 hours because today everyone has VD.
The combination of payday, Valentine’s Day, and the coming Snowpocalypse made the stores a madhouse today. I’ll go grocery shopping later.
So it’s going to be one of those days, huh?
Finishing out Valentine’s by watching UFC with my honey. One more reason to love her.
Valentine’s dinner. Giant steak for me and crab legs for her. After careful deliberation, I decided to go with the Brontosaurus steak.
To warm me up, a big bowl of grits, with cayenne added for extra warmth. At least one thing the South got right.
Kitty doesn’t like the snow. Lemme in!
Had to pick up Suzie because she didn’t want to drive in this mess. So I get to instead. To be fair, I love driving in it.
“It’s so fluffy I could die!” #alwx
140 CHARACTER ASSASSINATIONS:
Zombiepocalypse Tip: the rabies virus will die when cooking meat. Mmm, BBQ dog. #TheWalkingDead #TWD
The narwhal song just reminds me to not use Sprint. #AdvertisingFail
BWAHAHA (Blair’s Week Attempts at Haha’s) 1/10 – 1/16: It sleeted and snowed in Huntsville, Alabama on the 15th. Northerners may find that odd, but it’s not as uncommon here in North Alabama as one would think (just four years ago we had 12″ of snow on the ground at my house). What made this event unique was not the snow and sleet, but the fact that the city did not shut down at all. No school closings. No businesses shutting down. Redstone Arsenal stayed open. Colleges stayed open. The I-565 overpasses stayed open. If you live anywhere around Huntsville, you’ll know that the overpasses staying open is a major fucking deal when it comes to getting snow and ice in these parts. So well done Huntsville, you actually didn’t panic this time and there is still bread and milk in the grocery stores.
This week was both tedious and boring. Tedious because of all the sites I’m working on and then my boss threw three more on top of me. Tons of work to do for those sites. Boring, because it’s pretty much the same work for every single site. For those that don’t know, I work with prisons and jails. Both of those have a tendency to locate themselves in small towns and rural areas. The reason they do so is because small towns and rural areas vote them in so that the inmates count as their population, thus making their state and federal tax revenue greater. Yep, prisons are a money-making scheme all around. But newsflash prisons: building in those areas makes it hard sometimes to get the telecommunications that you need. A prison in the middle of nowhere in Pennsylvania that I’m working on is suffering from that now. The local TelCo cannot get the circuits I need until March 31st. So much for getting their system in within 45 days of the order coming in. Sure, build for economic reasons up front, but in the long run, that shit’s gonna cost you more than you’ve got coming in.
Friday night I had the pleasure of performing at the Alright Bayou Comedy Show here in Huntsville. It was an amazing show with a great crowd and my fellow comedians were awesome. Make sure you keep up with local comedy in Huntsville by following Huntsville Comedy on Twitter or Facebook and check out the Huntsville Comedy web page as well!
Habanero powder in the nose… great way to start the night. On the plus side (after 100 sneezes), I can breathe really great!
I guess I didn’t clean off the driver’s seat well enough… I now have a piece of glass stuck in my left ass cheek. Fun times ahead…
I always appreciate when the Oscars nominations release: it lets me know which movies I don’t want to see (with a 99% accuracy rating).
I like how a country music station in Texas favorited my Tweet about me not liking country music.
It’s scary how well the Internet knows me sometimes…
Snowmageddon: We’re All Gonna DIE! #alwx
140 CHARACTER ASSASSINATIONS:
Some of us are getting more snow than others. #WhitePrivilege
Useth thou cell to texteth thine archers to unleasheth fury upon thine enemies!
Now everyone knows that Christina doesn’t want to get married. Ever. Learn something new: Gamophobia or Anthrophobia?
Someone needs to let Mike’s Mom know he sleeps with the fishes.
We’re all gonna DIE!!!!!!!
What it feels like to put on a condom.
Charles instantly regretted wearing pink to the black tie event.