Our first off-grid homestead winter seemed easy until Storm Maya hit. We had 30 inches of snow in two days with a brief break followed by another foot of snow and rain. While we have still lived through worse winters ON GRID; being off grid for our first winter we had a few mishaps.
#1 Snow Removal Plan for a Snowpocalypse
We are used to shoveling heavy NE Ohio snow in subzero temps with high winds. So shoveling 6 inches of snow in the sun and 20s F was easy breezy even for our long drive. Then Storm Maya hit the PNW and we were put to the test. We called every snow removal service we could and all were occupied. Calling last minute was obviously no fun and put us at the bottom of the lists. Especially, as new-to-the-area people. While plow equipment was not in the budget this year, we should have researched snow plow/removal companies prior to the big storm.
#2 Park Our Truck by the road
Why oh why did we not park our truck at the end of our drive? We’ve done this before when we expected snow. For some reason…we forgot! We ended up snowed in for over a week. Our road was cleared day 3. Which means we could have run to the grocery store and merely shoveled a human walkway down the drive to the truck.
#3 Get chains for our truck
Just before the big snow we had big ice. We struggled and found ourselves wishing we had chains for our truck.
#4 Have more Fuel Storage
We have a gas generator to back up our solar generator. While we did not run out of gasoline, we ran close and I had to curb my work on my laptop (our greatest gas guzzler) to conserve energy. From this we decided to double our fuel storage.
#5 Stock up on pet supplies
Hmmm, seems obvious but when you are used to running to the store anytime you need something, there’s bound to be a period of adjustment when prepping. Yes, we had enough dog food and cat food but ran out of cat litter! We know what you are thinking, throw in dirt or woodchips, well we have a particularly finicky cat who needs one kind of cat litter or she simply won’t use the pan!