Tuesday, January 26, 2010
In the past week Oklahoma has experienced severe ice storms, leaving many without power and heat, some even having branches fall on their homes. The prime offenders here are; below freezing temperatures, wind, rain and snow, and ice on trees, branches, power lines, and roads. Branches falling on power lines have left whole blocks without power. My family has been fortunate enough to maintain power for the week, losing it only for a couple of hours. We have however experienced plenty of downed branches and storm debris. When the storm found us I felt very unprepared, my cleanup gear consisting of a cheap machete purchased at the Walmart down the road, a small hunting knife and a basic tool kit. While you can get by with a small ax or machete its a lot easier with some extra tools.There are several things to keep in mind when purchasing storm clean up gear. First address what you are up against. If you are in the heart of hurricane country and usually receive heavy debris then consider getting a good chain saw. If, on the other hand, you only expect the occasional ice storm you will probably be safe with a good ax and at least a small bow saw. Check with your local Lowes or Home Depot. A sales associate will be glad to help you find what you need. Also when selecting hand tools make sure to stay away from hollow plastic handles, as when they are used in below freezing temperatures they become brittle and crack very easily (voice of experience speaking). We were able to limp through the week with only slight difficulty, although I don't intend to have to do it again.