The Southern California snow that we are treated to here on the Mountain can vary quite a bit from year to year as you can see from the Snow links above.
Occasionally we have a lot of drama. March of 2006 brought the biggest storm of the decade. High winds resulted in a lot of tree damage. Several of those broken branches took out power lines one evening, then the next morning or phone lines went dead. One of the cell towers was apparently out also. New Years 2015 we had 19 inches.
For some, it was a few days of adventure, but for those who relied on electricity, were low on propane, ran out of firewood, got their vehicles very snowed in, found themselves melting snow for water, or had their pipes freeze and break, it was a little taxing. Here are a few suggestions to make it a lot more fun during snow and power outages:
WINTERIZE It is very important to have your cabin or home ready for winter to avoid freezing pipes. I'm glad to give ideas or see the Yellow Pages for our local guys who can do this for you, the Water Companies should also be a good resource.
THUNDERSTORMS IN THE FORECAST? Best to unplug all appliances including computers, TV's, refrigerators (12 hours on, 12 hours off) and anything else at risk of frying in a thunderstorm. Neighbors have lost all of the above leaving them plugged in. Not fun.
FIREWOOD You might consider having a firewood supply of dry wood ready by Labor Day. Several people on the mountain sell and deliver firewood. See the Mountain Yellow Pages and click on Firewood. Like to cut your own wood? We usually have options for you for free firewood for the cutting to season for the coming years. Some is dry but most is green so what you would cut now won't be ready to burn for at least a year or two. Just let me know that you are interested in free oak to cut and I'll connect you with the property owner.
PROPANE Make sure your propane tank is full. Several weeks after some of our big storms, propane companies still could not get in to fill up the tanks. Some people have upgraded to larger tanks. Some people who didn't have propane for heat or cooking are making a change adding one of those efficient propane stoves that look like a wood burner and work even if the power goes out with no lugging firewood. You're invited to stop by and see ours - wonderful heat. We got ours through the Pott Belly Shoppe in Ramona.
PARKING When we may have the slightest chance of a snow, some people have found it wise to back in their vehicle, facing on a public road that is plowed. Put your wipers out so they don't freeze. Keep a shovel in the trunk so if the plow goes by and leaves a berm, you can dig out and take off.
WATCH WHERE YOU PARK In addition to parking out on a public road, it is wise to NOT park under oak trees especially. Heavy, wet snow or ice storms bring down branches and trees that have been known to turn favorite vehicles into pancakes.
SNOW PLOW BLADES Several different companies sell snowplow blades that attach to 4 wheel drive vehicles. These could be a great investment for many people during these times when we do get more than the average snow. See the Yellow Pages and click on Snow Plow Blades.
GENERATORS When the power goes out, it sure is nice to be able to have a generator to turn on. There are Mountain guys on the Yellow Pages that can help you - check with Electricians, Contractors, or the Handymen.
LINES DOWN? Branches across trees? If you know of any other areas where lines or poles aren't looking like they should, be sure to call or report them - best not to assume that just because some emergency crews were working there clearing branches or trees, the utility companies were contacted. Easy to do on line or call: AT&T or dial 611 SDG&E 1-800-611-SDGE (7343)
PHONE SERVICE OUTAGE Don't want to miss calls when phone services goes out occasionally? Add two services with AT&T: With the "The Message Center" your calls are stored on AT&T's system, you aren't dependent on power to operate an answering machine, and you can check messages from any phone. I also have "Call Forwarding" to send my calls to my cell or office (wish my cell worked here! :) Just a couple dollars a month.
ROAD CLOSURES If the Road is closed to Residents Only, you must have proper ID. In addition to your Palomar address on a driver's license, weekenders and property owners can show a copy of a tax or electrical bill. You might just keep a copy in the glove compartment of your vehicles. Also, sometimes there is a 'Chain Check'. Sometimes residents in a 4 wheel drive are able to pass without putting chains on but you need to show that you have them. See the Yellow Pages for a great source for used ones.
NEED YOUR DRIVEWAY PLOWED? There are only a couple local guys available to plow. See the Yellow Pages and go to Snow Removal. Very best to have your own plow as their timing might not been what you'd like.
In Gordon Stewart's Book, 'San Diego Back Country 1901', he writes;
"Today we would not choose to live as we did; without plumbing and electricity; but a spell without them is worth much. It makes us appreciate what we have".
He has a delightful few pages about life on Palomar a hundred plus years ago. It might be a nice, relaxing option in front of your fireplace during the next snow.
Hope you enjoy every minute! Questions? Let's connect! Bonnie Phelps 760 742-1742