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  • Snowed In: Living the 2015 Boston Winter

    Through late January 2015, Boston’s winter was abnormally warm. December was the warmest on record, with temperatures nearly 4 degrees above normal. The city’s snowfall total was 60 percent less than normal.

    Boston WinterThat changed January 24. In less than four weeks, five storms dumped almost 8 feet of snow, obliterating records. Two of the storms were among the ten largest recorded. The eventual season total was 110.6 inches of snow, a record and almost 44 inches above average. The arctic weather brought arctic chill. The temperature didn’t hit 40 degrees from January 20 through March 3, another record.

    Andrew Thimmig and his wife, Julie, lived through that winter. They lived in Somerville, Mass., two miles northwest of Boston, in a three-story home converted into apartments.

    Here’s what they experienced, as Andrew described it. The interview was edited for brevity and clarity.


    Q: How did you prepare for winter?

    We didn’t do any extra preparation. We got snow boots – we didn’t have them – and heavier jackets. We bought salt, because when we were living in Rexburg [Idaho], salt was necessary. Our upstairs neighbor had a few snow shovels that they let us use, so we didn’t have to buy shovels. We had to get new tires after the first snow hit. Our apartment was on a hill, and our car tended to slide. We didn’t have a disaster preparation plan. I thought about it but never did anything about it.


    Q: What was the first storm like?

    I’d never had a work snow day before, so that was interesting. Our upstairs neighbor was outside shoveling, so we went out to shovel. We shoveled the car then had to shovel our way back to the door. It was just very, very time consuming and exhausting.

    Boston Winter

    We would go out there and shovel the car and make sure the stairs leading to the apartment were clear. It was a process. After the first few snowfalls, we had to repeat the process and there wasn’t room to put the snow. We eventually had to throw it in the street because the street got plowed.

    It was lots of shoveling, then ice removal after a time. The ice got pretty bad. Most of the ice was very thick because it was hiding under the snow all the time, so it would be an inch or so thick. I’d go out and hammer it with a metal shovel our neighbor had, chop it up and put it on the snow piles.


    Q: What else was difficult?

    We lived about a 15 minute walk to one of the metro stations, then a 20 minute ride to where I worked.

    Boston Winter[After the snowstorms], the sidewalks weren’t plowed for a long time. The neighbors didn’t shovel and there was ice all over, so I didn’t walk on the sidewalk. I had to walk along the side of the road while trucks and larger vehicles would go by. It was a little bit of a fun game.

    The orange [metro] line, which I used, was fairly reliable, but there were huge delays. I had to keep on top of the alerts. I tried to leave early in the morning around 6 or 6:30, and some days were awful. Every now and then I had to sprint or give up and wait for the next [train] to come. Some days it was awful. I had to skip a train because I couldn’t find an open car.

    [In Somerville], they kept most of the roads open, but it probably took twice as long to get anywhere.

    There was a fairly large intersection right outside our neighborhood that had lots of accidents and power outages. In our neighborhood there was no major damage. Our neighbor’s rain gutter broke off the roof when it got too much snow in it. That was very alarming, to wake up about two in the morning to a loud crash outside our window. One tree got knocked over on our street. Somebody’s truck got hit by a pretty large branch as well. There were power outages just across and down the street from us.


    Q: What did you do?

    Boston Winter

    They’d never previously declared snow days in my office, but for maybe 10 days the office was closed. Those who could, worked from home on projects. The network went down sometimes, which was a common occurrence.

    I got to spend more time at home with my wife, which was probably the best part. If I could, I’d work. If the network was down, my wife and I would watch TV – as long as we had internet. I’d go out periodically and shovel. On the days I did have to work, my wife would shovel, because at the time she was between jobs.


    Q: What did you learn?

    It’s better to be prepared for when stuff like this comes along. It’s always good to have some kind of situational preparation kit. Make sure you have a few good snow shovels, because one of them will probably break. Make sure you just stay on top of things, because it’s a lot easier to shovel a little bit of snow than a lot of snow.


    Did you experience the record-breaking Boston winter or other cold, blizzardy winter weather? What was it like for you?


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  • Get the Basics This Black Friday

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow! I hope your day is full of food and family (and perhaps even some football). Thanksgiving is a day to be thankful, that's for certain, and there is so much to be grateful for! Your health, family, job, and yes, your personal preparedness. Be grateful for that! You deserve to feel happy and confident in your plans for the future.

    We want you to be as prepared as possible for whatever might come. This Black Friday (tomorrow!), we have loads of amazing deals that will help you be even more prepared for disasters, job loss, and any other unexpected emergency that might come your way.

    Head on over to beprepared.com starting at midnight tonight (Thanksgiving) to take advantage of all our amazing door busters and other killer deals. This is a fantastic way to continue preparing for the future. With prices so low, it’s much easier to stock up on gear and add to your emergency food storage without breaking the bank. And that right there is definitely something to be thankful for.

    Not sure what you need? Let’s start with the basics:



    Water is one of the most important aspects of survival. Your body can only survive three days without water. After that, all bets are off. If you’re not sure where to begin, I suggest taking a look at our emergency water options.



    Food is also important. Not only is it crucial to life, but it’s tasty and an enjoyable part of every day. Our freeze-dried food can be stored for up to 25 years, making it ideal for emergencies. But don’t stop there! It’s one of the easiest, most delicious options for your camping, hunting, and other outdoor trips. So if you’re looking for meal options for the next couple of decades, look no further.



    Happy Thanksgiving!Your outdoor gear is useful while camping, hiking, and otherwise being away from technology. But did you know that your outdoor gear can double as emergency gear? So even if you’re not into camping and getting lost in the woods for fun, having some extra gear on hand could prove quite useful should you be effected by a disaster. Even power outages and other minor emergencies can be made much easier by having alternative power sources, extra lights, and other essential gear.


    Of course, there’s a lot more to choose from than what’s listed here. But it’s Black Friday! You don’t have time to read lengthy reports about all our products on sale! Head on over to beprepared.com and take a look for yourself. I guarantee you’ll find something that catches your eye, and the price attached to it will make it that much better.


    Happy Thanksgiving! What are you most looking forward to this Black Friday?


    Happy Thanksgiving!

  • 4 Black Friday Myths

    Black Friday is just a few days away (hurray!), and since we just did a post about some Black Friday Facts, I think it’s time to debunk some myths. Ready? Let’s go!


    1. Doorbusters Are Only for Brick-and-Mortar Stores

    False. You don’t have to go to one of our Utah stores in order to get the amazing doorbuster deals (although that’s certainly an option). Our website has all the deals you’ll find in our stores, so if you don’t want to leave your house the day after eating all that mouth-watering turkey (or if you live in, say, not Utah), then head on over to beprepared.com to get your mitts on some absolutely amazing deals!


    1. You Absolutely Need That $300 HD LED 3D TV!

    A lot of times, shoppers get worked up over some pretty good electronic sales. As enjoyable as a big screen can be, they won’t be much use in an emergency. You’re much better off with a bunch of freeze-dried food, emergency water products, or alternative power sources. Actually, if you have another way of powering your electronics in the case of a blackout or other emergency, then that $300 TV might be useful after all. But make sure you have that generator first.


    1. It’s Called Black Friday Because That’s the First Day Businesses Go Above the Red

    1960s-traffic-jam - Black Friday MythsMany people believe that the name Black Friday references the point where businesses start turning out a profit (they go out of the red and into the black). But that’s no exactly true. Turns out, back in the 1960s, the term Black Friday referred to heavy traffic in Philadelphia. So if you do head out this Black Friday in your vehicle, you can drive with a smile, knowing you’re contributing to the day’s namesake.


    1. Emergency Essentials Is Going to Release Their Doorbusters Early!

    That’s not exactly true. However, we will be giving out some more information on Thursday afternoon as to when our Black Friday deals are going live, so be sure to check our Facebook page for that announcement!


    And there you go! Some fun Black Friday myths to impress your friends over Thanksgiving dinner! We hope to see you back on Friday when we’ll help you save big on a wide variety of products!


    What other Black Friday myths have you heard?


    BlkFri_SocialMed_Ad-3 - Black Friday Myths

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