Giving thanks for the good weather

2022 June portrait, WYO Writers

            Preparing for Thanksgiving this year makes me especially glad for the nice autumn weather we are having, yet we know things can change quickly.

I have been reading about the Blizzard of ’49 and it isn’t pretty. In truth, it should have been called the Blizzards of ’49 because multiple storms are what really caused the trouble. And it could happen again. Would you be prepared for something even half as long in duration?

            As I read about the blizzards, I couldn’t help but think of all the new subdivisions that have sprung up and how easily people could be caught unprepared. Need groceries? You just pick them up on your way home from work. Prescription medicine? No big deal, you drive past your pharmacy every day.

            But what if you couldn’t get out? Would you just expect to be rescued? Just the possibility of such a situation should make you want to be ready. This can be a challenge, and it is winter.

            If at all possible, keep at least a week’s worth of prescription medicine on hand. Buy a few gallons of bottled water even if you are on a water system. Something could fail with that. Stock up on some non-perishable foods. Did you know you can freeze milk in the plastic containers it comes in? After it thaws, you could have the formerly frozen milk to drink and use powdered milk — on your non-perishable list — for cooking.

            Please take precautions. No one should have to risk his or her own life to save you from bad planning on your part. Workers would have enough to do dealing with true emergencies, if they could even respond at all.

            For those of you who lived here in April of 2000 you have had a taste of a blizzard. On our ranch, we were without electricity for 10 days in 2000 and we used our generator. Poles and trees snapped off hills-wide, as well as on the plains. Fortunately it was not cold, and the storm did not last long. But that should have been enough to remind us of what could happen.

            In October 2013 the storm called Atlas was another blizzard that affected the region. The reports of that storm were mostly in regards to livestock loses and calamities. Since the storm itself lasted two days and the weather wasn’t too cold, people weren’t too inconvenienced. Of course I am not talking about the horrific loss of animals, but the actual people difficulties.

Here we are at Thanksgiving and who knows what will be coming down the pike for us this winter. Since we can’t use a crystal ball we need to prepare and pay attention. The life you save may be your own.

Please take some time to prepare yourself and your family in the event of a storm like this should strike again. Country people are used to being as prepared as possible. Many have generators and certainly keep provisions on hand because they live so far from town.

Sanders is a national award-winning columnist who writes in the hope that readers will heed these warnings for a good, safe winter. Contact her through

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