Lists for Winter Storm Preparedness

Blizzards and snow days can create havoc with schedules, commuting and childcare. They can also bring families together for some of the best days of the year.

A key to enjoying stormy days is preparing for the worst. This includes potential power outages and running out of food or water.

I’m a fan of simple checklists for managing daily life. (More about the Checklist Manifesto.) There are many checklists available online to help prepare for winter storms. The CDC and have useful lists for winter storm preparedness that include reminders for easy-to-overlook items, like medications, pet food and baby supplies.

I like the list from the American Red Cross, with a few considerations:

Extra cash, passports – The Red Cross suggests keeping these on hand for the big storm, but I don’t think they quite get the concept of “snowed in.”

Food – A 3-day supply of non-perishable, easy-to-prepare food. Pretty much all I ever buy. Done.

Hand-crank radio – Reminds me to hit up Sky Mall before it shuts down.

Extra batteries – Can’t I just use the batteries from the smoke detectors?

First aid kit – We have a Hello Kitty first aid kit. Bleeding out has never been so cute.

Cell phone with chargers – so everyone on Snapchat knows you’re SOL IRL.

Alternate heating methods – trash can + lighter + credit card bills. Done.

Water –  A gallon of water per day. Good call – takes a lot of water to make ice cubes for gin & tonics.


How to Listen to a Podcast

Everything you wanted to know about podcasting but didn’t feel like Googling.

Everything you wanted to know about podcasting but didn’t feel like Googling.

Podcast was the word of the year… in 2005 (10 years ago!!) Serial was seemingly listened to by everyone on Earth. However, a few people have sheepishly asked me how to listen to podcasts. They’re not alone. The question is common enough that Ira Glass made a video to help people listen to Serial (embedded below.)

As Ira says in the video, Apple’s Podcast app is probably the easiest way for people with iPhones and iPads to get started. In iOS 8, the  Podcast app is included by default. You can also download it for free here. In my opinion, the only nice thing about this app is that it syncs podcast settings across devices. Otherwise, I’ve found it buggy and unreliable.

I use and recommend Overcast to download and manage Podcasts on iPhone. On my Mac I simply use iTunes. You can see how to do that here.

For Android phones and tablets, try the Stitcher app on Google Play (it’s also in the App Store). Search for the podcast you want to listen to and click the plus sign (+), to add it to your Favorites List. Now go to the Favorites List.  Tell it to download new episodes by clicking the gear in the upper right corner.

The Next Web listed “8 Great Apps for Listening to Podcasts on Android and iOS

Here’s that video from Ira Glass and Mary on how to listen to podcasts.