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Officer Norway’s Corner – Winter blues and being prepared

By SRO Kjell Michelsen

We just rolled into March, and although March can hide a surprise or two in regards to the weather, mainly the “white, fluffy stuff,” it looks like we have yet again had a winter without much of any real wintery weather to speak of. Many of my friends say, “I wish we could have at least one good snow!” I can be persuaded to go with that, just that one that is, but truthfully I don’t care too much for it. Maybe I got my fill of winter growing up in Norway?

But my friends and family in Northern Norway, rest assured that they have had and still have their winter going strong. I have seen their pictures and short Facebook videos of heavy snow that last for days. Blizzards were so intense that you had a hard time seeing your neighbor’s house. Pictures of snow reaching the windows on the second floor, people out in their heavy-duty boiler suits shoveling snow in endless snow-battles that sometimes does not seem to have an end.

To cope with these long dark winter months, many will plan a vacation from it all, booking trips to Thailand and Southern Spain and other warm climate countries. It can and will work wonders on people to have a respite from the cold, even for just a week or two. We see it even here, with our mostly tempered winters, where that first beach trip, even for just a weekend, is all one needs to make it to spring.

Shifting gears. Last week ended the yearly Tennessee Severe Weather Awareness Week. Being prepared not only for severe weather but really for any circumstances that can affect our daily lives, be it for just a couple of days or even weeks and longer, should be a part of any household preparedness. Right now, the COVID-19, better known as the Coronavirus, has taken hold in many countries, and although from the looks of it, for most, it’s no worse than the seasonal flu or a regular cold. However, a vaccine is not available yet.

The apparent difference is, it seems to spread faster than the regular flu or cold. We might be lucky, let’s hope we are, that it will fade away with warmer weather and life will go on as usual. But that could also change reasonably fast with a broader spread of it here in the U.S. This underscores the importance of being prepared. A good question to ask yourself is: “How many days can my family and I be holed up at home without the need to re-supply, be it for prescription medicine, or toilet paper and food?”

The government emergency preparedness site Ready.gov suggests at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food. But in regards to the Coronavirus where people have been told to self-quarantine for two weeks, sometimes more, those three days won’t cut it. Now, it can be costly to run out and buy two weeks of food and other necessities all at once, no doubt. That brings back the importance of building up a supply of food and other emergency items over time. If you can help it, you want to avoid being the person standing in endless lines for food, or worse, no food available at all unless you hunt or fish.

Until next time, have fun, be safe, and prepare for the worst, but pray for the best.