Emergency Preparations for When the Sky is Falling

Snowy Roof-top View of a Neighborhood. Photo by Cecilia Kennedy

Bananas and ice cream are missing from the grocery store shelves in the Greater Seattle area because we are experiencing an extremely rare, but “catastrophic” snow event that has turned nearly everyone stark raving mad. And I am one of them. Without bananas and ice cream, Nate, Alex, and I are left alone in this world to survive the storm blast with nary a banana split in sight. We are begging for your help. We are desperate. Send us pictures of banana splits. We miss them.

Now: Nate, Alex, and I are from Ohio and two out of the three of us have survived the Blizzard of 1978. Not once did our parents call a family meeting and say, “Okay, this is the plan: We need to gather flashlights, snow shovels, and banana splits. Then, we’ll be fine. Only then, will we be able to survive.”

No. Banana splits are never in the emergency plan, but now that I do not have access to bananas or ice cream, I want these things and I’m wondering whose leg I need to break in order to get a banana split around here. I obviously did not prepare well for this storm and I’ve been forced to make decisions I never thought I’d have to make, such as this one: Do I just scoop up some snow and improvise a banana split with the last Tangelo from the grocery run we did a week ago? Will anyone notice? My dear readers, I don’t want you to ever have to make this kind of a decision. To spare you from this hardship, here are some handy grocery and prep tips ahead of a snowstorm:

First, a grocery list, in this situation, is only a wish list. Go into the grocery store with a healthy sense of humor and defeat in mind. You will not get everything on your list, but you can still make do and have a laugh or two along the way. Here’s how Nate and I shopped at around 9 p.m. on Thursday night at our neighborhood Safeway:

–Ground beef was on the list, but I only saw ground bison and filet mignon, which under any other circumstance, would have prompted me to say, “Hey, we’re in luck!” but when I saw the prices, I just looked for stray bits of pepperoni or hot dogs. I would have settled for beef jerky or some kind of tinned meat in gravy. Instead, I told Nate, “We’ll be going vegetarian this week for sure.” He just shrugged his shoulders and agreed. What else could he do?

–Pasta was on the list and, if it hadn’t been for a stray box of farfalle, we would have settled for whole-wheat macaroni. I’ve tried whole-wheat macaroni before and not even my worst enemy deserves that kind of a fiber boost. A snowstorm is no time to experiment with fiber-enriched products.

–I had a hankering for already-prepared-store-bought-guacamole-in-a-tub, but it was gone. Just gone. But there were plenty of avocados, so “yay,” I guess. I get to dig pits out of avocados and throw the skins into the composting bin outside in the snow. Ugh.

–Next, I looked for tomato sauce, but only tomato paste was available. Lots of tomato paste. Giant cans of tomato paste. I’ll thin it out with water. That’s the plan now.

–There was still plenty of beer, thank goodness—and Lean Cuisines. No one wants diet food during an emergency, so go for the Lean Cuisines and Weight Watcher’s packs. Varieties abound.

–No eggs were left on the shelves. None. There were two cartons of egg whites, so like animals we grabbed them before anyone else could.

–Whole-wheat bread, interestingly enough, is very difficult to find. If you like something called “45 grain” bread, you’re in luck. Just don’t eat it on the same day as the whole-wheat pasta if you’re forced to buy it.

Then, there’s the checkout line. Everyone will be there, including some jerk who is bragging about the size of his truck and how much food you DON’T need during a snowstorm. He will look condescendingly at your grocery cart while he makes this remark. And that’s when you’ll want to throw avocados at his truck. You’ll follow him into the parking lot and you’ll hide behind a snow bank and turn the flat bed of his truck into a giant guacamole-serving tray.

Finally, you’ll get home and you’ll put your groceries away and snuggle into the couch only to hear the siren call of love: The screeching tires of teens with front-wheel-drive cars pulling into the neighborhood late at night for a cuddle with a date—only to find out that they can’t get out of the neighborhood when the cuddling is done. They also don’t like to be told that their best bet is to just park their cars at your house and call their parents for a lift. So, they band together to find rope to string the cars together and pull them up to the top of the hill and you’ll wish you had a camera. You’ll really wish you had a camera and a banana split.

Your Turn: Your storm story or plans. Discuss belowJ Or, feel free to post pictures of banana splits.








58 thoughts on “Emergency Preparations for When the Sky is Falling

  1. No banana splits. Always too much for me and why adulterate the ice cream? Tomato paste makes wonderful tomato soup and spaghetti sauce with the right herbs and broth; I use chicken broth for the soup and beef broth for the sauce. 🙂 Have fun! Stay warm.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Well, I hope that Bananas are soon back on store shelves near you. Sounds almost as catastrophic as Hurricane preparedness in FL. The stores are emptied, and I can only imagine that all those cans of Spam have actually been consumed by the time our power comes back on.
    All the Best,

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Gwen! I can only imagine what Florida is like right before a hurricane–the panic must be intense. Yesterday, Nate and Alex ventured out and found eggs. I was so excited, I forgot about the banana splits and we’ll make cookies now:)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for the tips, Cecilia. And one in return … if you do end up resorting to making your banana splits from snow, avoid the yellow and go for the crystal clear white fluffy stuff. Or, just don’t tell Nate and Alex. A well written and funny post.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Now I really want a banana split!! And I really want to throw overripe avocados at redneck pickup trucks! BUT! Speaking as someone from the subzero north, you always want a carton of whole-wheat pasta in your vehicle! When you get stuck in an icy rut, you’ll be very glad to throw that gritty crap under the tires for traction.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Hahahah you do make me chuckle! Seriously though, I hope you all stay safe and well, the snow storm hell you’re getting over there sounds awful. Is this a bad time to admit I’ve never tried a banana split? Is it just a banana and ice-cream and then whatever sauce and such you want to put on top? Whatever you do, don’t go on Google images. It’s utter food porn, and it’s made me desperate for ice-cream so it may just tip you over the edge.x

    Liked by 2 people

    1. There are lots of ways to do banana splits, I think. Usually, I just cut a banana lengthwise in half and place it in a bowl. Then, I use three scoops of ice cream–any flavor–I’m not picky when it comes to ice cream–and I place them in the center. So the banana halves are “spooning” the scoops of ice cream in between. Then, you could put any sauce you want on top–and lots of whipped cream! Thanks for the kind wishes. We are staying safe and warm. The electricity has not gone out yet, but that’s always a concern. Cheers!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks for the clarification. I actually don’t like cream (I know, weird, and probably in a small minority of people there) so I’ll just add another 3 scoops of ice-cream just to make sure there’s enough filling for the nanas to ‘spoon’ 😉
        My fingers will be crossed that the electricity stays on. Does the weather seem to be easing up at all? I do hope so.xx

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Ken was telling me the other day that if Toronto was shut down by a storm, they would run out of food by Day 6. That’s kind of disturbing! I hope you always have emergency ice cream in your freezer from now on!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Wow, really, really sorry.

    When it got down to -56F no, not a typo, -56F we had no trouble getting groceries. It was that cold for 2 days then everything went back to normal.

    Yeah, the schools were closed, but we still had to go to work.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s not so bad–we still have electricity, so that’s good–for now at least. Nate and I both survived our share of winter weather/blizzards in Ohio, so we know what to do–we’ve survived before. But -56 is something. The coldest it has ever gotten in Ohio when we lived there was -20. Brrr!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Sorry, I don’t even have a picture of a banana. I ate them all last week.
    Weather- we just got through a week of -40 (C or F, it’s the same) . It’s warmer now. But I heard about the West coast and the dumping you got. Yikes. I hope that you are able to enjoy a b-split soon. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ha! I was living in Wisconsin that winter of ’78. I remember thinking it was so cool that you didn’t even need those red plastic igloo makers because the snow was so high! We’re down in Texas now. The last time we had a big snowstorm, we faux iceskated our way over to the restaurants down the street, and then walked to Kroger for ice cream making supplies. I always thought my craving switch was broken, but it sounds like you have the same ones!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The faux skating to restaurants sounds like fun! We were telling our son that we might not have electricity or be able to eat hot food, so we could probably put on hiking boots and hike a mile or two down the road to the restaurants and grocery store and he sounded very enthusiastic about that idea. Now he’s hoping we will have to do that–ha! Thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. ha, I remember a winter in New York city alone treading through the freshly minted snow for a whole chicken from the local meat market to boil and make chicken soup. My last winter before I left to join my parents down South on the Gulf of Mexico. Then I remember the bitter biting cold of snow in South Korea while trudging with books to work or finding again that chicken to boil. Chicken soup come to mind during those days and not the type you read about but the Jewish fortune of a meal my mom prepared for us while I was growing up. So, I guess you survived….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Chicken soup sounds wonderful! We are surviving–still inundated with snow. Nate did not make it to work today, which is very, very unusual. It’s supposed to rain and wash away the snow, but that does not seem to be happening yet. Oh well.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Dear, I had so much fu reading your post and the comments below. And I fell a little bit guilty, because you are experiencing a very difficult time. But you are a writer, I know. I hope winter is getting less and less cold for you. Let us know. Enjoy bananas and ice crem asap 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Ok, I haven’t had a banana split in about 30 years and now, thanks Cecilia, I want one so bad I’m ready to spend my lunch hour at Dairy Queen! Love your blog!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I won’t complain when it’s only 33 degrees in California and I need to scrape ice off my windshield. I don’t think I could go shopping in that kind of weather 😦 Thankfully, we hardly ever have a bad snowstorm or any type of situation where we’d have to shelter in place for extended periods of time. I’m sure if I had to do so, I’d be raving mad by the end of it… especially if my dog’s food smells better than mine. We have a stock of canned foods and dry goods (if it came down to it). If electricity was an issue, I don’t think I would enjoy lukewarm soup. But I would certainly enjoy the entertainment of teens, who don’t know better. 🙂 You should have videoed it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the visit! California sounds wonderful at this very moment! The snow has melted, but there is still a threat of snow every day until March 1st at least this year. This kind of weather is very unusual for us. Enjoy the California weather!


      1. I think this winter sucked for a lot of states. Glad you’re doing ok. California is ok… But many parts of it is expensive to live.

        Liked by 1 person

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