The first question for Ask Roger Anything , about stormy weather, comes from Kelly Sedinger.
The storm will be past by the time you answer this, but when you hear about storms like this, what’s your level of anxiety? I waffle between “WE got this” and “OMG, we are SO screwed.”
I should note that Kelly is from western New York, near Buffalo. His area experienced Snowvember, so notable – snow taller than Kelly, it appears – that a YouTuber came to town to document the aftermath.
But the storm just before Christmas sounded much worse: high winds, plummeting temperatures, plus considerable snow. Now I took it seriously. I put the garbage cans on the porch, with the heavier recycle bin keeping the trash can in place. My wife went out in the car around 3 pm to deposit a check but after ten minutes, and the temperature drops ten degrees Fahrenheit (more than two degrees Celsius), she gave up.
Still, the Albany experience, aside from the cold temperatures, c. 14F/-10C, was not bad. A little black ice; the hilltowns always fare worse around here.
The Buffalo area, conversely, had what was described as a Category Two hurricane but with snow instead of rain, with blizzard conditions that killed over two dozen people in Erie County, NY, alone.
And the bad weather wasn’t confined to that area. A member of our church choir and their spouse, trying to fly on Southwest Airlines, were stuck in the Denver airport for days. The water system in Jackson, MS failed AGAIN.
The answer to the question is: 1) yes, I take it seriously, but 2) it was far worse in much of the country than I would have anticipated.
On 60 Minutes in early November 2022, there was a segment on What prepping looks like in 2022: Stocking up and skilling up for extreme catastrophes. While one apparently has to be on Paramount+ to access the video, the text is here.
It begins: “If you hear the term ‘survivalist’ and it conjures images of militants and conspiracy theorists— residing on the fringes and on compounds, armed to the teeth—well, it’s time to reset your doomsday clock.
“A worldwide community of preppers – those who stockpile goods and skill-up for extreme catastrophes – is girding less for the end of days, than for a disaster that calls for taking cover. A climate emergency, civil unrest, the possibility of a dirty bomb, to say nothing of a global pandemic that suddenly shuts down the world. It was COVID that turned abstract apocalyptic scenarios into a reality.”
The story did have us inventory what water and ready-to-eat foods we had on hand. Should we get a backup generator? The Buffalo blizzard reignited the conversation, as did the folks who shot at the power grid in North Carolina this autumn, shutting it down for days.
I’m not freaking out. I won’t become a survivalist tomorrow. BUT SHTF takes place with increasing frequency. So over time, I’m inclined to want to become more prepared for… whatever.