Snowbound without power

Me and my Mom moved to Washington DC from Tokyo 5 weeks ago. I have never lived anywhere that had snow. Now I am alone in the house, snowbound without power. My Mom had to work late yesterday and didn’t get off until it was too late to get home because of the snow. I could have went to her friends a block away but I elected to stay home. I have plenty of food and activities to keep be busy and I thought it would be fun until the power went off. I woke up in the middle of the night and the lights didn’t work.I found 3 flashlights and my laptop was fully charged. My cellphone still worked and Mom called me so I wasn’t too worried. She is going to try to get home latter today. The worst thing is it is getting cold in the house, 51 the last time I checked. The heater is gas but needs electricity for the fan thing that blows out the heat. I don’t have a lot of winter clothes except for a coat and a jacket.

I had breakfast, eggs and hot oatmeal, and of course with my insulin. I’m being extra careful about not getting low because I probably couldn’t get any help if I got in trouble. I’m being careful about using my laptop, I’m going to have TV dinners later hopefully the oven will warm up the kitchen. I found out on the internet the power was expected to get back on at 12:30 AM, I don’t want to run out of battery power.

Make sure you can stay warm somehow. Be safe.

You sound like you’re handling everything well. Do you have a plan B if it gets too cold in the house and the power is not restored?

Getting a bad hypo is probably your biggest risk. Keep a close watch on your BG levels. Good luck!

Also keep your meter in your pocket bc it will stop working if it gets too cold

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I am in the DC area. We really have terrible weather conditions. I can’t even get my driveway plowed. But in the scope of things, everything will be ok. You can pile the blankets on your bed and survive a cold night. And you are actually very capable. You don’t need anyone to protect you from lows, you know how to make good decisions. Have faith in yourself, you will be fine.

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I expect you won’t see this until after power has been restored to your house, but what the heck …

I guess you’ve never traveled to northern Japan during the winter then. About 3 1/2 decades ago I lived within walking distance of Japan for a while. I was stationed at a base next to Misawa in Aomori Prefecture. It could snow there during the winter, though I don’t recall Misawa ever getting anything near as much snow as Washington DC did today.

About being without power. Something to keep in mind for possible future reference is to keep an eye on your water pipes to ensure they don’t freeze. If the water in the pipes freezes it can result in a leak which can cause both property damage & the frustration of being without water.

So long as the power is not out for too long a period or if the outside temperature is near or above freezing (0 degrees centigrade), it probably won’t be a problem. Biggest risk is if the outside water pipes bringing water into your house are above ground and exposed. I don’t know if DC is far enough south for that to be a concern or not for the homes there.

Does your house have a basement?

stay safe & stay warm.

And you can reduce liklihood of this happening by leaving sinks, showers etc on with just enough to slow trickle / fast drip

yes! in a pocket close to your body! not in your coat

I did visit places in Japan that had a lot of snow but I lived in Tokyo. It did snow there but seldom stayed on the ground very long.

It never got below freezing in the house, 48 was the lowest. It was cold enough that I could see my breath. In the morning I was so nice and warm in bed I just wanted to lay there until the power came back on. I finally had to get up and got another shock in the bathroom, I was afraid my bare butt was going to freeze to the seat.

After breakfast I wanted to go outside but the snow had front and back doors blocked with almost 2 feet of snow drifted up. I remembered reading in a book about going out a window to unblock the door. I was outside trying to unblock the front door with a pizza pan, I didn’t have a shovel. Mom had called her friend that lived a block away and he came to help me, when he saw me shoveling snow with a pizza pan he almost died laughing. He shoveled off my front walk and back deck.

My power didn’t come back on until Sunday afternoon. When I got my laptop plugged in I did a video call to my boyfriend in Tokyo. All he said was that he wished he had been here to keep me warm, I bet he would. Mom got home about 2 hours later, after the house was already warmed up.


Hi Madison,

It sounds like you did a great job of keeping yourself safe and taking care of what was important! And being very resourceful going out the window and using your pizza pan! Congratulations! And you made it through this adventure! I’m sure that you and your mom will be thinking about what you want to do to be prepared if you ever get snowed in again, or if the power goes out for some other reason.

And welcome to Washington, D.C.! I hope that you enjoy living there! It’s a very interesting place with lots of possibilities! I hope that you find a group of friends and that it becomes a good home for you!

Best wishes,