January 24, 2012

Incredible Snow Storm in Utah

I don't know about the area you live in, but here in Utah, we have had some crazy weather! Have you seen this video yet? This incredible video was filmed on Saturday afternoon in Bountiful, Utah. The snow storm hit hard and snow quickly filled the streets.

I happen to be in Bountiful that day with my family. I had checked the weather report that morning because I wanted to make sure it wasn't going to snow. We planned the day so that we could visit my parents in the afternoon. They live in Bountiful, which is an hour away from my home. I grabbed my rain jacket because it was raining pretty hard, but it was not snowing. The morning forecast said there was not going to be snow, so I packed up the kids and we left. Because of our crazy schedule that day, my husband had driven our car and I had our van. We got to my parents house at about one o'clock. My husband had an appointment and was going to meet us there later. The kids were excited to see grandma and grandpa and play with their toys. We were there for a few hours, watching the downpour out her kitchen window. My mom commented, "Wow. If this were snow, it would be a blizzard."

Within minutes of her comment, the snow started to fall. Just a little bit. But, none the less, it was snow. I hate driving in the snow. I did not want to drive home in the snow. A few minutes later, the snow started to stick to ground. Big heavy flakes. But, the road was still clean, so I figured it would be okay. We were waiting until my husband got to the house. As soon as he got there, we were planning on leaving. He called and was a few minutes away.

When he arrived, he ate a quick dinner, we cleaned up the toys and packed up the kids into the cars. In the short amount of time he was in the house, the snow had covered the tire tracks. The road was covered in snow and I had to drive home in it. Did I mention that I hate driving in the snow?

Since my parents live on the mountainside in Bountiful, we had to drive down the hill to get home. Right before we left, I asked my son to say a prayer that we would be safe. I left first, with my husband following me. I was driving super slow, because the roads were slick. When I came to the first stop sign, I slid right through it and came to a stop on the other side of the street. Uh-oh....This was more dangerous than I thought it was going to be. As I was stopping, I noticed the cars on the next street over were stopped....completely stopped. It looked like they were all parked waiting for something. The road was so slippery, the cars could not get up the hill. I also asked my son to say another prayer. We needed all the help we could get!

We continued down the street we were on. There were no other cars on this street, so I felt okay about driving down it. I was still slipping all over the place. I thought that if I could get down lower in the valley, then the road would be better. When we came to the second stop sign, we slid a little, but we were able to stop. Thank goodness. 

White knuckled, I continued driving. When we came to the third stop sign, we didn't slide at all. We had come to the main road and there was more traffic. We saw other cars that were stuck on the side of the road. I turned off my wipers for a minute to reach out and brush the snow off that was sticking to the side of the wind shield. By the time I turned them back on, the snow was all over my window.

I was sliding all over the road. Cars were stuck and had hit curbs. My husband called...he had hit a curb and the car was out of alignment. Great, I thought. One more thing to fix at our house. He decided to keep driving home. I was so nervous. After a few more yards, I decided not to go home. I didn't know if I could make it all the way home. And, did I mention that I hate driving in the snow! We had left my parents home 15 minutes before and we had only been able to drive 4 blocks.

So, I pulled into a parking lot and to turn around. I called my mom and asked her if she would be okay having extra house guests tonight. There was no way I wanted to drive home that night, even if the roads were cleared. She is so awesome and was excited to have us come stay the night. We were not prepared for the snow, nor were we prepared to stay overnight anywhere but our own house.

I pulled back out into the street and started back up the hill to my mom's house. The road we came down was so slippery now, I couldn't get back up it. So, I had to try another street. I told myself that if we needed to, we could walk part of the way in the snow to their house. After all, my pioneer ancestors walked in the snow with their kids all the time! We inched our way along, sliding all over the place. But, we were getting closer to the house. Little by little we passed the houses on the way up the hill.

Suddenly, a car came up beside us and drove around us. I couldn't believe how fast he was going. He must have had four wheel drive. This made me slow down. I had lost my momentum and again I was sliding. Grrr. We had to pull over to the side of the road because I couldn't go up any further. I decided we could walk the rest of the way. We were only 1 1/2 blocks from my parents house. I called my parents to let them know our plan (thank goodness for cell phones!) and I asked my son to get the emergency kit from the back of the car. I wanted to see if there was anything in it we could use. I was grateful had packed it. But, the problem I found was that it was packed for summertime. There was some food, juice, matches, diapers, formula and a first aid kit. Umm....no hand warmers, no blankets, and diapers? My daughter is 3 and potty trained. I think I need to change my kit! Luckily we did find an umbrella and there was a blanket in the car.

I had another prayer with my kids and we got out and started walking. I'm so glad my girls had put their snow boots and winter coats on when we left that morning. My son only had a light jacket and his tennis shoes, so he wrapped up in the one blanket we had brought with. I decided I need to redo our emergency kit and put things in it we actually might need.

I was so glad my parents home was only a few minutes away. Dad was so cute and met us part way with some gloves and boots for my son. (But, being the pre-teen he is, my son didn't want to change shoes. Silly boy.) He also brought a sled for my youngest to ride in. As we walked, we watched more cars sliding on the road. When we got to my parents house, we all changed into dry clothes and had hot cocoa. Later my husband called to let me know he was home safe. I was so grateful we were all safe. After the snowplow came by, we went and picked up the van. I probably could have driven home that night, but decided it was easier just to stay at my parents home.

Why did I blog about my experience from this storm? So that maybe you can learn from it. I keep asking myself "What if's". What if I hadn't been so close to my parents home? What if I was stranded without a cell phone? What if I had crashed? Hopefully, you can do something different and be a little more prepared than I was.
  • Maybe you need to put your emergency kit together.
  • When was the last time you checked your emergency kit? Will it work for your family right now?
  • Do you have a kit for your car that will work for your family? Does it have items in it you may need?
  • How prepared are you? Honestly?
If you are like me, you are a busy person who thinks "I will get to that another day." Well, today is that day! Or, maybe your New Year's Resolution is "This year is the year I am going to get prepared." If you are going to do it, way to go! Some of you might build your emergency kits with items you already have at home. Other of you might not know where to start and need an easy way to get your survival kits put together. You can purchase them from Shelf Reliance.

I am grateful for the safety of my family last Saturday. I am also grateful for my parents who helped us out and let us stay overnight at their home. I hope I do not have to experience this again. If I am ever stuck in a snow storm, I hope that I will be more prepared next time.


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