Homeowner learns to weatherproof

Staff writer

Wendy Collier‘s heart sank when she saw the amount of snow that had drifted in front of her door.

“I didn’t think I could get out,” she said. “Luckily, when I pushed on the door, the snow moved and I could sort of dig my way out.”

Collier was just one of the Marion residents caught unaware in this past week’s two storms. While many knew enough to stockpile food, few felt they knew how to prepare their houses for bad winter weather. Collier said it never occurred to her that she would need a shovel. So, in a spirit of determination, she went to her front door and starting scooping snow with a coffee mug. Then when she could get open her door a little wider, she started scooping the snow with a 12-inch skillet.

“I’m glad I had it,” she said. “My husband told me he didn’t know why we had cookware if I burned everything, but now we both know. It’s a handy tool in the middle of the snowstorm.”

She said wishes she had paid more attention to friends and family members, living in Northern states, who told her to prepare her house for the snowstorms. She said she plans to purchase a shovel in the near future, if for no other reason than to get all the snow off her roof.

“It just wasn’t made for this kind of weather,” she said. “The snow is getting really heavy up there and I don’t want anything to happen to my roof. It could collapse if we get any more or if the wind blows more up there — and one thing is for sure, in this weather, I don’t want to be without a roof over my head.”

Collier plans to sit on the couch with 10 blankets over her head, and hope summer weather comes quickly.

“The cold wind whips through the house pretty good,” she said. “I have six windows in my living room and it gets mighty cold. I would put more caulk around my windows, but I honestly really hate to. It is nice to have the breeze blowing through in the June and July. I think if I just hunker down and get a nice steaming cup of hot chocolate, I’ll be just fine.”

The Marion resident said, in the days prior to the snowstorms, she thought the weather forecasters were overreacting when they said to prepare for electric and phone lines to go down. While she said she hasn’t lost power yet, the amount of snow on the ground has her concerned.

“I love my house because it keeps me warm,” Collier said. “If I didn’t have power, I don’t know what I’d do. I’d probably have to get one of those generator things, because I don’t know how to keep warm otherwise. Sure, you can pile on a bunch of blankets, but it won’t take the chill out of the house or keep your pipes from freezing. If it gets to that point, I might try to heat my house with candles. Although, come to think of it, I’m not real good with matches and I’d probably just burn my house down.”

Collier said she is going to take more precautions in the future to prepare her house for a major storm.

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