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How to Prepare for a Storm on Prince Edward Island

A lot of folks were on pins and needles in Prince Edward Island this week with the “bomb cyclone” that made its way to our shores from the southern Atlantic. These major storms are the only visitors to our Island that I can honestly say I am happy to see leave! I hope all of you who were in the path of this storm, fared out alright, without any damage to yourself or your property.

On the topic of storms, many of our winter storm preparation rituals here in rural PEI might make some of you city dwellers smile, so I’ll share some of the popular ones with you.

Tips for surviving a winter storm in PEI

• Fill the bathtub with water! No, this water is not for drinking, it’s for flushing the toilet when there’s no electricity and your home is on a private well rather than municipal water. (Many an Island teen has gone off to university and been mortified when learning that the toilets in the dorm can, in fact, be flushed even during a power outage.)

• Stock up. On everything. Grocery stores before a storm are filled with frantic shoppers grabbing bottled water, bread, chocolate, milk, toilet paper, canned goods, coffee, and foods that can be eaten in the event of an extended power outage. When you live on an island in the Atlantic, you just never know how much devastation can come from a storm. Many communities on the island are quite isolated and getting to a grocery store or gas station during or following a storm, may be impossible. And it’s not unusual to lose power for 24 hours or more during a large storm. We must be prepared!

• #Stormchips. Somehow, the act of eating chips during a snowstorm has become a trending Twitter hashtag here in PEI and across the maritime provinces. Even people who don’t tend to eat junk food seem to hop on the #stormchip bandwagon before a storm! This being the new year, however, I have seen people talking about #stormsalads and #stormlettuce

• Sleep with your PJs inside out. School is frequently closed in anticipation of a large storm, much to the delight of students (and some teachers). According to completely unscientific data, if you go to bed with your pyjamas on inside out, you stand a better chance of a school-crippling storm.

• Talk about it to the exclusion of all other topics. When there’s a big storm on the horizon, it’s all people seem to talk about! Some people even claim that the trick to preventing a storm is to talk about it so much that it fizzles out into nothing!

Take a peek at our time-lapsed video taken at the beginning of the recent weather. 

Click here. 

I write this from Arizona but been in touch enough with others at home to feel like we lived it. (almost) LOL 

Have a great week and I hope the start to your New Year got off on the right foot. 

With love,


I would love to hear about how you prepare for storms in your part of the world. Please leave a comment and share your own interesting rituals!

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Barbara - January 7, 2018

Love the stormchips idea! We are in Maine, and did a quick supermarket stock up the day before Bombcyclone. At the height of the blizzard, making sandwiches, I asked my husband, “How did we not buy chips?”
Will be on my storm list from now on.

Margaret Goodyear - January 7, 2018

Bless you and thank you for your welcome comments. As children going to school we never ever had a snow day. Those who missed simply came in the next day and made up the work.

Nancy MacDonald - January 7, 2018

Preps much the same in rural Rhode Island. Buckets for flushing, bottles for drinking, pancakes with Preserve Co. blueberry syrup for breakfast, and then being a couch potato watching 927 hours of televised weather reports telling us how bad it is out there! (We know…we have windows…we can see it!)

Jan Matthews - January 7, 2018

Hi Bruce…Happy New Year…Loved your Blog on how to prepare for a winter storm. Having lived just outside of small town Manitoba 3/4 of my life, we knew too well about frozen water pipes, filling the tub & the kettle, getting up in the middle of the night flushing the toilet and not trying to bake bread during an ice storm. Never heard about the PJ thing…must be an Islander thing. Enjoy the sun. Thanks for the 50th Birthday ideas. Presented them last night and went over well. Hugs

Lori Torina - January 7, 2018

In Texas during hurricane season we prepare much the same as you! Stockpile water and food, fill up the bathtub for flushing and possibly drinking, board the windows, make sure you have plenty of batteries, a working generator and extra gasoline. Hurricane Harvey this past August was one for the books with thousand losing their homes to flooding but it was humanity at its best!

Diana Chandler - January 7, 2018

Here in NS I filled a few bottles with water, filled the thermos with boiling water, filled the wood box to feed the wood stove, gassed up the car and made sure I had some cash, peanut butter, bread and of course storm chips in preparation for the storm.

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