Prepper Lesson: Ice Storm on the Farm

It is always a great idea when members of the Preparedness Community share their experiences with others, a prepper lesson.  We can learn from others, from their successes and mistakes.  And many preppers would be surprised that what seems to be a regular life to them, helps others understand some aspect of preparedness.  This article is provided by MaryLou who shares about her experience going through an ice storm on her farm with her husband and some of the adjustments they had to make to get through it.

I grew up in a home where my mom had a pantry, mainly just basics and included her canned foods. It wasn’t in abundance, but it was adequate for us since we lived in a small town. We also had an oil space heater for the house and a propane stove for cooking. When the power went off it mainly affected the television, the refrigerator, and the freezer. When the plugin clock started to move or the frig started to run, then we knew the power was back.

I married a farmer and we lived about 20 miles from the nearest town. If we ran out of something, we couldn’t just jump in the car and go to town. We needed a plan. I also had a pantry, a freezer and fortunately a propane stove.


Prepper Lesson – Ice Storm Adjustments

One Winter, we had an ice storm on the farm. The main heat for the two-bedroom trailer was a propane kitchen stove, leaving the oven open and having the oven on at a moderate temperature because the propane furnace won’t kick in without electric.  We shut off the hallway with blankets. We used the toilet, but we had to harvest the ice, melt it on the stove and use buckets only for solids. Two mattresses were placed on the front room floor and we had two oil lamps plus candles put in bowls for the time we were awake but we snuffed them out when we went to bed. Flashlights were used if the toilet was needed during the night.  Prepper Lesson: It’s easier to heat a smaller room.  

My husband was able to use the hand pump with the jack pump.  Sometimes, we would get water from the neighbors, where it was easier to pump.

Dishes were done using pans. This water was saved for flushing the toilet. To run it through the lines might cause the lines to freeze.  Prepper Lesson: Find ways to reuse and recycle everything that is possible.

Three meals had to be done before sunset, so we could see in the limited light to cook the food and do the dishes. Food from the frig was placed in containers and set out on the porch. Freezer items were placed in a plastic barrel, covered, placed outside and covered with snow, so the only waste was the container of ice cream.  Prepper Lesson: Sometimes you need to think outside of the “box” or the refrigerator.

At that time, we didn’t have cell phones.  We only had landlines. But, we were fortunate to have phone service. Those lines didn’t go down.

Our situation lasted for almost four days, but there were some areas that suffered for almost two weeks! We were fortunate.  Prepper Lesson: Someone has it worse than you.

I still have a pantry, but I don’t have a propane stove now and I want one. I have been slowly buying what I call odds and ends, candles from the second-hand stores, garage sales, and collecting anything that might have a purpose or be repurposed.  Prepper Lesson: Preparedness is a lifestyle, a mentality.  You should always find ways to better your situation.

Do you have a prepper lesson that you can share about winter?  Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below.

RELATED: Surviving the Disaster in California – Important Lessons Learned


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1 thought on “Prepper Lesson: Ice Storm on the Farm”

  1. We lived through the blizzard of 1978 with a few glinches but we did well. I had heard we could get some marginal snow and we were out of feed and almost out of hay. I told my hub he better go get some as the path to the barn gets pretty dicey with snow cover. He didn’t want to do it. He had some other thing he wanted to do. It had started to rain and I again mentioned our needs. We had about 20 head of goats at this point. Many were little. He was upset, but went and got it to shut me up. Good thing I persisted. He worked 3rd and it was raining hard when he left. By midnight it had froze and the snow began. I didn’t see him again for five days! We had 4 kids. The oldest was 10, the youngest 2. I did canning so we had food in our little 3 bedroom mobile home. We did have a wood stove in the living room, but not much wood in the garage. Gas range in the kitchen. When I got up in the early morning, there was blowing and drifting everywhere. 10-12 foot drifts at the road. My hub called and said the local police would not let them leave. He worked in a factory 25 miles away. The sewer pipe was froze so I bundled up and headed out to tend the stock. What a challenge! The water line was still ok at this time, so pulled water to haul to the stock. Brought in a bucket with a lid to be used as a toilet. As I went to the barn, I would have to shovel three feet and move the bucket. Did this for the entire two hundred or so feet. Finally got everyone dealt with and struggled back to the house. We spent the day making cookies and playing games. I was glad I grew up in the snow belt of Michigan as all was taken in stride.

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