Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Things I Probably Should Have Known About Blizzards

You know, before I moved to the Arctic and found myself in a blizzard.

(Guys, do not seriously depend on my advice for your survival. I'm not that smart. I got frostbite on my ear once because I didn't want to ruin my hair with a hat.)

wind chill of -58 
blowing winds of 50 gusting to 70km/h 
visibility at 0.2 km

1. Have a way to find out whether your office is closed. Because man it would suck if you fought your way through the stormy weather, getting frostbite on your ears because you didn't wear a hat, only to arrive at work and find out that it's closed and everyone is home, including your boss.

2. Don't take a shower. You only have a finite amount of running water, and you need to ration it.  If there's a blizzard and you've got the day off work, so do the municipal services folks. If you take a nice long bath and then run out of water in the middle of rinsing out your shampoo, tough luck.  You won't be getting more water until the blizzard's gone.

3. This also means don't do the dishes. Let the dishes pile up until after the storm when municipal services are available again.  Like you need an excuse not to do the dishes.

4. In fact, try to limit your overall water use.  This includes flushing the toilet and stuff.  Instead of drinking water, drink wine.  You're not working anyway, so what are you staying sober for? Save your water.

...unless you're sharing your water tank with a neighbour.  Then you can make it a game of "who can use up the most water before it runs out". Take your bath before your neighbour does. Fill all your pots with water.  I'm just kidding. That would be a jerk move.  

If you run out of water, remember there's a blizzard outside, blowing snow (aka water) at your house.

 view from my living room window, during a blizzard

5. Stock up on food, especially food that doesn't need to be cooked, just in case the power goes out and you're stuck in the house for days. I suggest potato chips.  Actually, you probably should have done this before the blizzard hit. Along with other essentials, I suppose like bottled water, candles, matches, first aid kit, and wine. And a wine bottle opener.

6. Have a stockpile of board games to pass the time.  Rob likes to play video games and I like to write electronic music on the computer, but if the power goes out, we've always got Carcassonne. Well, who are we kidding. We love playing board games regardless of whether the power's out.

7. If you go for a walk, don't get lost. This sounds like a weird thing to say, but blizzards are actually really beautiful and lots of folks in town like to go outside to enjoy it. But when you can't see much farther than ten feet away, it's pretty easy to suddenly have no idea where you are, even if you're in the middle of town, and town is only a few kilometres long. I got lost in a snow storm once. It was cold.

So basically, sit in your filth and play video games. It sounds tough, but you gotta do what you gotta do to survive.

"when the power runs out, we'll just hum..." -My Iron Lung