The first real snow of the year has come to the Kittitas valley. Upper county recieved a pretty good dump a couple of days ago. Living in Central Washington we expect to have snow, cold weather and maybe even the occasional blizzard. Many of us think we are prepared, but are we really? Some things to keep in mind, do you have provisions if the power goes out for an extended period of time? Have you started your generator recently (do you have a generator)? If so, have you made sure that it is actually putting out electricity? Generators can run fine, but if not used, over time they will lose their ability to produce power. In most cases this is a pretty easy fix, but you don't want to wait until it's storming and dark to find out, particularly if you need parts. So if you haven't tested that generator in the last month, it's time to do it. Let it run for a while (20-30 minutes) under a load, plug in your portable heater to it and make it do some work. Make sure you have good ethenol free gas and plenty of it.
If you have a snow blower or a plow on your lawn tractor or ATV have you started them recently? Remember, batteries can go dead in cold weather, belts get hard and slip and/or break and tires go flat. Don't wait until you have a foot of snow to contend with before you look at these things. Speaking from experience, there is almost nothing worse than trying to figure out a mechanical problem with a flashlight in your mouth at 6 am and hoping you will still make it to work on time. As always, being prepared can be the difference between a good day and bad day 8-).