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All posts for the month February, 2014

Infrastructure

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Even though the news was slow to reach the surface on the details surrounding the attack of a central California electrical substation, by now most of you have heard the news. For those who haven’t, an unknown number of people, armed with rifles only, attacked and disabled Pacific Gas & Electric’s Metcalf transmission substation back on April 16, 2013. Firing around 100 shots, the attackers knocked out 17 transformers forcing officials to reroute power to avert a blackout. It took them 27 days to repair the damage.

We may never know who was responsible for this event and this article isn’t going to go into the potential reasons or motivations behind the people who conducted this highly successful act of sabotage. The news did make me reflect again on how relatively simple it would be to knock out power to millions and if the efforts were concentrated enough, seriously disrupt power for a very long time. It isn’t only armed men with weapons, computer viruses like Stuxnet which was used to disrupt the Iranian nuclear facility back in 2009 show that you don’t even have to fire a shot to take out someone’s capacity in a meaningful way. Lose power and we go caveman really quickly.

In thinking about this issue of the fragility of our nation’s infrastructure, I started going down the usual list of items that we hear about as potential targets for attack. Power Stations, Nuclear Plants, Banking Institutions, Water Treatment Facilities and as we saw so powerfully on 9/11, our transportation system. These all would seem to be valid targets, but I wonder how many of you have given the same type of thought and attention to your own critical infrastructure. Is your critical infrastructure safe from attack from forces trying to harm you?

Cyber Threats

This to me seems like one of the most likely places you could be attacked and not know it. If the revelations from the NSA are to be believed (and I for one do), there is little you can do about it. For those of us who aren’t currently under close scrutiny though, you can take steps to protect your internal connections and prevent others from gaining access too easily.

  • Make sure your home wireless network is secure. – I would additionally caution you to change your password if you give it out to friends when they are visiting.
  • Make sure you have the most up to date Virus protection software. There are lots of options and I have used Norton Antivirus.
  • Back up your important files – I like to back my files up in two ways; first with an external hard drive and secondly with an online backup service like Carbonite or Mozy. You can also use DropBox. Does either of these methods guarantee your files will be secure forever from the NSA? I doubt it, but it should keep your important information safe if a Tornado goes through your house.
  • It is also generally a good idea to have the most current patched version of your software installed. Don’t get me started on Microsoft…
  • Stay away from shady sites – I know this one is more difficult because they have gotten so good at hiding things, but the safer your browsing habits, the safer you are from viruses in the first place.

Financial

There are several components to this threat, but I will boil them all down to the big three items below.

  • Losing Your Money – This can happen from simple theft such as a home break-in or more complicated to explain, but more prevalent theft like inflation, money printing and fleecing of your country to pay off too big to fail interests. Deposits can be held, investments can be outright taken to fulfill other debts. Money can easily be taken away when it is out of your control.
  • Not being able to make any money – The loss of a job or other circumstance that prevents you from working could happen. As much as possible, it is wise to reduce debt to nothing and save your money to weather life’s little storms.
  • Not being able to get your money – Just like the power outages above, if the bank can’t use their computers you can’t get your money. If the ATM loses power, you can’t get your money. Additionally, what if there is a run on the bank and the money you deposited is simply withdrawn by everyone else? Make sure that you have some stored away from the bank safely so that you aren’t 100% at the mercy of these two factors.

Drinking Water

  • What if the water is shut off or undrinkable? – It wasn’t too long ago we had the chemical spill in Charleston and there have been at least two others since then.  Make sure that you don’t find yourself in the same situation the people in WV did when they could not get water out of the tap for a few weeks. Even now that the water is flowing again, no one can say positively that the water is safe. If you are looking for options on how to reduce your dependence on municipal water sources in times of emergency, you can read our article here.
  • What if you aren’t anywhere with a working tap? – What if you are stranded on the side of the road due to a freak winter storm? What if you are stuck in traffic for days because of a planned evacuation? Make sure you carry water with you at all times to avoid falling into this trap.

Energy

You don’t have to be running a power substation or a Nuclear power plant to have to worry about losing power. Run of the mill, average weather events like winter storms, high winds or tornadoes happen all of the time. Unfortunately, vehicles slam into power poles and disrupt power. Make sure you have alternate sources of power and you will be less likely to be affected by disruptions that can last for days.

You don’t necessarily have to have a 14KW whole home generator to check this box off. A simple 1000 Watt Inverter hooked to your car’s battery and plenty of safely stored fuel will give you minimal power and could make life a lot better.

Family

Why am I putting Family in this list you ask? I believe above all else your family is the most critical infrastructure you have to worry about. If you are reading this, it is your job and sacred duty to take care of them. Your goal with prepping should be to ensure safety and calm in situations where chaos and destruction may be ruling the day. Your family needs to have a strong bond to make it through difficult times and when all else is lost, they will be the one comfort you can cling to. Make sure your family is healthy, loved and safe above all else.

I don’t know your politics and I am not trying to persuade you to any particular religion but I do think most people will agree that families are always under attack either literally or figuratively from a number of directions. The work you put into making your family whole and healthy now will pay off when the stress level is through the roof and lives are on the line.

These were just some of the things I thought of as my own critical infrastructure. What comes to your mind?

This information has been made available by The Prepper Journal: Is Your Critical Infrastructure Safe from Attack?

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big-kid-gun

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The decision to train your kids to use weapons is a personal one. If you’re of the opinion that knowledge is power, then this article is for you. We’re not debating the merits of teaching your kids to handle weapons; that’s a completely different discussion and one that we don’t feel has a right or a wrong answer.

We’re simply providing some tips for those of you who have already decided to train your kids to use weapons if SHTF.

Another point that we’re not going to touch on today is age. This is because we know that kids develop differently and mature at different rates. We know that some kids are hunting with Dad at 7, and some aren’t allowed to do so until later.

Nobody knows your kid (or your weapons) better than you do, so when you think your child is ready, then that’s when they should learn!

Teach Your Kids to Respect the Weapon

The first thing that kids need to understand, even before they’re trained to use them, is that weapons are not toys.

Until your kids are old enough to understand this, you should store your weapons in such a manner that your kids can’t access them. Whether this is in a locked case, in a locked room, or on your person is up to you, but the easiest way to avoid an accident is to ensure that your weapons never fall into untrained hands.

Once your kids have access to your weapons, proper safety measures should always be taken, including:

  • Teaching that WEAPONS ARE NOT TOYS! This should be lesson one, from the time that your child can understand the concept. Even toy weapons should be treated differently; regard them as early training tools for real weapons.
  • Always be aware of the direction that the muzzle is pointing. It should always be pointed “down range” in case of accidental discharge (AD). Down range can include the ground, literally “down range” if you’re at a range, or in any direction that there is no chance of hitting anything that isn’t a target.
  • How to safely carry it.
  • Treat all weapons as if they’re loaded.
  • How to tell if it’s loaded. Always assume that it is.
  • Always make sure that the range is clear prior to shooting, throwing, or otherwise firing a weapon.
  • Use proper safety equipment including eye wear and ear plugs if necessary.

Teach Your Kid All There Is to Know About the Weapon

The first thing that your child should be taught after learning basic safety skills is how, exactly, each weapon works.

Teach them the mechanics of it. If it’s a gun, teach them to tear it down and put it back together. If it’s a bow, teach them how to adjust tension, change strings, and use the sites, if there are any.

Obviously, we can’t touch on every single weapon here, but you get the idea. They should know each weapon inside out, including the following:kid-gun

  • How to load it and unload it properly
  • How to clean it
  • How to fire it or wield it
  • How many rounds it holds, if applicable
  • The range of the weapon
  • The damage that it can do
  • How it works mechanically

Teach Them the Limitations of Their Weapons

In the movies, broomsticks go easily through zombies’ chests and smoothly pull right out but we know that isn’t really how it works. All weapons have limitations and it’s vital that your kids know what they are.

Guns run out of bullets. A 30/30 is a great brush gun but it’s no good for distance. A broomstick may be great for stabbing one person (zombie, etc.) but be prepared to hang onto it and be aware that it’s easy to break it or lose it. You get the idea.

Teach Your Kids to be Resourceful

Do drills that include using critical thinking skills to turn common items such as brooms or paperweights into weapons that can be used for self-defense. Remind your kids that, even when using make-do weapons such as these, they still need to practice basic weapons awareness.

It wouldn’t do at all for your kid to whack YOU in the head with a broomstick instead of his intended target!

Be a Good Example

Even if you know for a fact that your gun is unloaded, and you’ve been a sharp-shooting professional for 20 years using the same weapon, practice all of the safety skills that you’re trying to teach your kid. AD can happen to you just as easily as it can happen to your kid if you drop your guard, and if your child sees that you don’t respect the rules, the importance of them will be lost.

Always use proper form and adhere to all safety rules, policies and procedures that you expect your child to adhere to.

Practice, Practice, Practice

kid-girl-gunsIf you’ve decided to teach your kids to use weapons if SHTF, you should practice regularly.

Just as with all of your other prepping strategies, weapons training should be done so often that it becomes second nature.

We’ve already discussed how to conquer your fear in another article. If you’ve read that, you know that being thoroughly trained is one of the best ways to avoid freezing up. The same goes for self-defense and using weapons.

In a SHTF situation where life or death is the only option, muscle memory can save the day. Practice with your kids on a regular basis.

Teaching your kids to use weapons if SHTF or for personal safety or to hunt for food is a skill that comes with great responsibility. Kids should understand that though using a weapon is a vital survival skill, a weapon is a lethal tool that needs to be respected at all times.

We hope that these tips help you to teach your kids to use weapons in a manner that is safe and productive. Good luck and be safe!

Find out more about using weapons for survival defense on Bulletproof Home.

Photo sources: 123RF.com

This article first appeared at Survivopedia: Training Your Kids on Using Weapons if SHTF

Martial_Law

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Martial law is often the “boogeyman” of the preparedness community, a suspension of all rights and the introduction of a massive, overpowering police state. However, in many ways there is disinformation and outright lies regarding exactly what martial law really is and when it can legally be put into effect. Let’s take a look and see what it is, when it can be put into place, and whether it has happened in the United States before.

Disclaimer: I’m no lawyer nor am I a judge, so my opinion is just that when it comes to martial law. Consult with an actual lawyer who has taken the time to read through all the minutia and every related court case if you are truly concerned about potential abuses of power.

A simple description of martial law

During martial law civilian courts can be replaced with less lenient military tribunals.

At its core, martial law is exactly what it says, which is law under the power and control of a military force. Typically reserved for emergencies such as national disasters, war, epidemics (even on a small scale), or rioting and insurrection, martial law supplements or replaces existing civilian legal, judicial and executive government with a military one. As a result, troops are often brought in to control the populace using methods more extreme than what the typical police forces would use in a given situation. Furthermore, lawbreakers are not subject to civilian courts as per normal, but rather military tribunals just as if they were soldiers in the military.

As a result of using the military as a legal and judicial system, many civil rights are commonly suspended for the duration. Writ of Habeas Corpus is null owing to the lack of civilian courts, as was shown by Lincoln’s suspension of the Writ during a large part of the Civil War. Basic rights including speech, assembly and press can also be suspended, as can civil rights regarding racial discrimination. Even the simple right to keeping your own property can be removed, allowing the military government to confiscate stored foods, water, medical supplies, and weapons at will. It is these things that are the primary reason for distaste by most people who hear about a possibility of martial law. Without the restrains put upon a civilian government, martial law allows gross violations of rights as a matter of course.

That said, when used in the appropriate, limited sense it ought to be martial law can be extremely short lived. During the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, for example, martial law was put in place for only a few days until the military had the blaze put out. Martial law also allows government to bull through the usual bureaucratic red tape and anti-corruption restraints in order to access stockpiles of prepared resources rapidly and deploy them quickly. Assuming that the people in charge are honorable and reasonable, martial law can allow a disaster or emergency to be mitigated in the best manner possible with minimal interference from measures intended to mitigate the corruption that can take years to form in civilian government. As many people have noted, however, that is one big “if”.

The difference between “martial law” and a “state of emergency”

This may surprise you, but there actually is a difference between the two. Indeed, in the U.S. the “state of emergency” label was created specifically to avoid instituting the hard-handed fist of martial law for every national disaster that required Federal assistance. They are similar in several ways, but here are some key differences to help you see how to each one is distinct:

  • Martial Law is under the control of the military, a State of Emergency is still under civilian control.A state of emergency is commonly declared after a major natural disaster as part of a plea for outside aid.
  • A State of Emergency often has limiters in a State Constitution or in the legal code of a given state to restrict exactly which rights can be suspended and when or how goods can be confiscated. Martial Law allows the military to basically do whatever it wants and suspends most forms of civilian law, including Constitutions.
  • States of Emergency are frequently called for during major disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes etc even if the populace is generally stable. Martial law, by contrast is usually called for when the average person is likely to be breaking the law owing to a lack of civilian government.
  • There is much less to be gained from a State of Emergency than from Martial Law. Oftentimes Martial Law is declared indefinitely and relinquished slowly, since people who generally have little overt political power are suddenly in charge of running entire areas of a country. A State of Emergency is usually localized in nature, and the people administrating it are the people already in power such as the governor and local police forces. Furthermore, States of Emergency are designed to end fairly quickly and return the law to its original form prior to the disaster, meaning that the legislature is less likely to try and make themselves into kings during the emergency.

All this said, a State of Emergency does still allow a government to suspend certain rights and privileges depending on the scale of the disaster. If you’re curious, I would recommend looking into your own State Constitution and seeing if there are limiters on what can occur during a State of Emergency. Wikipedia is not a great source in itself, but it is good about providing links to the actual laws in place, so starting there would be a good bet.

Martial Law in the United States

Martial Law has been declared over 10 times in the history of the United States, but here are some of the most notable instances to give you an idea of what life would be like in that legal state.

  • The Massachusetts Government Act (May 20, 1774) was part of the Intolerable Acts and as such technically predates the formal organization of the United States. It was part of Parliament’s response to the Boston Tea Party, and it suspended town meetings without the consent of the royal governor, changed many elected positions to appointees of the governor, and otherwise generally destroyed the formerly independent government of Massachusetts in order to reclaim some control over their wayward colony. Needless to say, the response was somewhat more lively than Parliament could have envisioned.
  • The Civil War (various, nationwide September 18, 1863). President Lincoln suspended habeus corpus slowly over the various places of the Union that he felt required it, and initially without the written approval of Congress. With the power he granted, “Copperhead” (Southern loyal) members of state governments were arrested, printers of papers criticizing Lincoln and the war were arrested and their presses demolished, and Northerners identified as traitors to the state were tried by military tribunal even when civilian courts were still in operation. Even during the Civil War this was a highly controversial move, and later Supreme Court cases determined that at least in part Lincoln’s actions were blatantly unconstitutional.
  • The 1906 San Francisco Earthquake (April 18 – July 1, 1906) Soldiers were sent in to provide food, water, shelter, and to guard buildings and deal with looters. They were effectively the only police force in action at the time, and were given shoot-to-kill orders for people committing acts of looting or other various crimes deemed sufficiently serious. Although there were accusations of looting on the part of the soldiers, they were otherwise well received and no major trampling of rights was reported during or after the event.
  • Hawaii during WWII (December 7, 1941-October 24, 1944) As you might guess by the initial date, martial law was enacted on the Hawaiian islands after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor owing to the large population people there of Asian descent. Although the initial enactment has been defended as necessary, federal judges postwar criticized the Army for taking their control too far. Like many areas in the United States during this time, people of Asian descent were treated poorly and often had their businesses, homes, and other property confiscated and were forced to wait in internment camps for a large part of the war. This example is often a primary citation for modern analysts who are concerned that martial law might permit small groups of “enemies” to be forcibly robbed by a military government.

Is martial law a concern for preppers?

Martial law is a concern for any person in any country, not just the preparedness community. Essential freedoms including the right to bear arms, to speak and write as you please, and to assemble for peaceable demonstration against the government are the means by which a peaceable and free society runs, and suspending them invites the corrupt and power-hungry to make their play. That said, martial law is not some kind of code-word for totalitarian government, and in many cases martial law was enacted and then later civilian government was restored. You can stick your head in the sand and ignore it on one extreme, or you can put on the tinfoil hat and wait for the black helicopters to take you away on the other, but I would favor a more balanced approach that views martial law with extreme caution.

Rather than waiting in fear for some boogeyman to come and take your freedoms and supplies however, I would recommend you give serious thought to your own reaction to different levels of martial law. What do you consider a just degree of martial law, and what would you refuse to comply with on moral or practical grounds? Only you can answer that question, but the time to determine it is not immediately after a disaster sufficient to require martial law to be declared.

Your thoughts?

Let us know what you think of martial law. Should it ever be used? Why, and if yes to what degree? Is there ever a reason to suspend basic rights? Let us know in the comments below!

This article first appeared at Prepared For That: Survival Knowledge: What is Martial Law?

hand-tools-for-preparedness

By Ken Jorgustin

Having basic groups of hand tools and the skills to use them is an asset to overall survival preparedness. Fewer people today know basic trades and fewer have the ability to use and apply basic tools than they did years ago as the United States has moved away from a manufacturing sector (and the jobs and skills to go with it).

In a SHTF world, those who have the tools, the skills and the ingenuity to perform the basic tasks of building, repairing, modifying and adapting to circumstances which require more ‘do-it-yourself’, those people will be better off…

Having said that, there are several general categories of hand tools which one might consider having. Consider life with little or no electricity, and the tools you might need.

While many of us may already have these things, it is good to review your tool chest from time to time.

Hammer

Hammers come in a variety of head weights and shapes for different tasks. Varieties include the curved-claw, straight-claw, sledge, mallet, tack, ball-peen, and bricklayer’s.

Saw

Saws have teeth (points) in generally two styles: crosscut (for cutting across the grain) and rip (for cutting with the grain). Other saws include the backsaw (often used with a miter box), coping saw (used in fine woodworking), compass and keyhole saws (tapered blades allow to cut curves or to start plunge cuts), and hacksaws (used to cut metal). I would consider a variety of other cutting tools like knives and utility knives (razor knife) in this category, for cutting, trimming, and countless other tasks.

Drill

Drills, unlike electric or battery powered drills, hand-powered drills are completely portable, slim enough to fit awkward spaces, and they allow you to control the speed of cutting (although a hand drill will take a-lot longer in many instances). Three types of hand drills include the push drill (small and can be operated with one hand), eggbeater drills (named from their drive mechanism – gear and pinion), and the bit brace drill (used to bore large-diameter holes and to drive or remove screws).

Screwdriver

Screwdrivers and an assortment thereof including the many various tips, and lengths. Common varieties include tips for flat blade-slotted, phillips, square, star, hex, etc.. each with various handles and tip widths. Uniquely shaped screwdrivers such as angled screwdrivers can save the day too.

Wrench

Wrenches for nuts and bolts, tightening and gripping, fixed sizes and adjustable, open ended, socket, etc.. Various trades require some of their own unique wrenches. Wrench varieties include fixed wrenches (double open-end), combination wrenches (open and box end), offset wrenches (angle built into shaft), hex wrenches (for hex drive screw-heads), strap wrenches (wraps securely around irregular shapes), adjustable wrenches (jaws open and close by turning a thumbscrew), pipe wrenches (for metal pipe and tubing), and ratchet wrenches (adjustable socket).

Pliers

Pliers are close to wrenches. Some pliers grip, some cut, some do both. They include long-nose (delicate tasks, forming wire loops), bent-nose (for awkward spaces), lineman’s (gripping with a cutter near the pivot), adjustable (typical slip-joint or channel-lock), diagonal-cutting (snip small metal parts and wire), and locking pliers (a substitute for clamps).

Vise

Vises consist of two flat jaws that adjust together for clamping and holding. Every workbench needs at least one. There are all sorts of sizes (delicate jobs versus heavy duty).

Clamp

Clamps are indispensable accessories to almost any woodworking project from simple furniture repair to complex fitting and joinery. Clamps come in a variety of sizes and styles. Buy clamps in pairs or sets of three. Use them to hold work while glue sets, to secure wood or metal in position while working on it, and for temporary assemblies. Many, many uses.

Chisel

Chisels are precision tools with a razor-sharp cutting edge. It’s use requires careful attention and some delicacy. Some are designed for specific wood-working tasks, others are for cutting metal or stone.

Plane

Planes are used primarily to trim and smooth wood, to straighten irregular edges, and to bevel and round them.

File and Rasp

Files and Rasps are used in metalworking and woodworking to trim and smooth, as well as to shape and sharpen. File types include single cut (for smoothing metals), and double cut (rapidly removes material from metals). Rasps are a file with quick-cutting individually shaped teeth and can be used with wood, some metals, and plastic.

Staple Gun

Staple guns are handy tools that make quick work of tacking jobs (such as fastening screening or fabric). Having a staple gun and a variety of staples will make your life easier in many circumstances.

Sharpening

Sharpening involves three steps: grinding, honing, and burr removal. Grinding turns metal into a bevel-edged tool. Honing or whetting, is the main task of sharpening. Hone edges on an abrasive stone with a few drops of non-food oil over the stone.

Measuring

Measuring and marking is the most important aspect of any project. Measure twice and cut once. Measuring tools include the retractable steel tape measure, folding rule, pocket caliper (measures inside and outside diameters), scratch awl (sribes lines, marks centers), chalk line (for long straight lines), combination square (45 and 90 degree angles), square (90 degree angles), protractor square (all angles), plumb bobs (uses gravity to find a second point exactly beneath the first one), and levels.

Multitool

Multitools come in an amazing array of sizes, shapes, and functionality. In many instances, all you need is one of these and you won’t need to lug your tool chest. Carry one on your belt and you’re assured of being able to deal with many common repairs and other practical uses.

Leave a comment and add your own thoughts about hand tools for survival…

More at Modern Survival Blog: 15 Hand Tool Groups For Preparedness

By Suspicious Observers

Published on Feb 28, 2014

Kilauea (Hawai’i): Last night a swarm of very deep earthquakes occurred in the area of Punalu`u on the SW flank of Kilauea in the Ka`u district of the Big Island!

Popocatépetl (Central Mexico): The volcano’s activity increased yesterday. CENAPRED counted no less than 544 small to moderate emissions during the 24 hours between 25-26 Feb.
An overflight with the support of the Navy yesterday afternoon showed that the most recent lava dome (number 48) had been destroyed by this activity. At its place, a new funnel shaped pit, approx 80 m deep was seen. At the bottom of this crater, a new lava dome of 20-30 m diameter already made its appearance.
The elevated activity had been preceded by volcano-tectonic earthquakes of magnitude 2.6 and 1.6 yesterday and the day before. The volcano’s alert level remains unchanged at “Yellow phase 2”.

More at Volcano Discovery: Volcanoes Today, 28 Feb 2014: Popocatépetl, Kilauea

By

March may not come in like a lion everywhere across the nation, but winter will roar during the first several days of the month and impact more than 100 million people.

Snow will expand from the northern Rockies and central Plains to portions of the Midwest this weekend, reaching the Northeast early next week.

The adverse winter conditions will develop Friday into Saturday over the Plains and is forecast to shift slowly eastward Sunday and Monday.

Snowfall from the cross-country storm will exceed 1,500 miles on its journey. There is the potential for more than 6 inches of snow to fall along a 1,300-mile stretch from Topeka, Kan., to Kansas City, Mo.; Peoria, Ill.; Indianapolis; Columbus, Ohio; Pittsburgh; Philadelphia; New York City; Hartford, Conn.; Providence, R.I.; and Boston. Some locations along this swath could end up with a foot of snow or more.

People traveling by road or airways should expect major long-lasting delays as this area of snow expands eastward and crawls along.

For a time, the snow or a wintry mix will impact areas between the I-70 and I-90 corridors over the Rockies and Plains and the I-64 to I-90 corridors in the Midwest and East. From the Midwest to the Northeast, portions of I-80 could close for a time due to a very heavy snowfall rate. Snowfall rates at the height of the storm may reach 2 inches per hour.

Major airport hubs from Kansas City, Mo., Chicago, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Detroit, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, New York City and Boston may all be directly affected by the storm with the potential for thousands of delays and/or cancelations. Ripple-effect flight delays and cancelations are likely to reach nationwide.

One batch of snow will push slowly eastward Saturday into Sunday from the Great Lakes to part of the central Appalachians. It is during this first batch where Chicago, Detroit and Buffalo, N.Y., are likely to get most of the snow from the event.

However, it is during the last part of the storm, when the heaviest and longest-lasting snow is likely to occur centered farther south. The heaviest snow is projected to be Sunday to Sunday night over the northern Ohio Valley states to part of the central Appalachians and Sunday night and Monday in the coastal Northeast.

RELATED:
Rough Winter to Lag Well Into March for Midwest, East
California Rain Brings Drought Relief, Flooding
AccuWeather Winter Weather Center

Initially, the storm will evolve into a blizzard over the northern Rockies and northern High Plains with dangerously low AccuWeather RealFeel® temperatures.

Farther east, the storm may be less intense in terms of wind and low RealFeel extremes, but precipitation can be quite heavy and very disruptive. The storm is likely to impact not only travel, but also school and business activities. The storm may completely tap remaining ice-melting supplies in some communities.

According to AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams, “The challenge with this storm is figuring out where the north-south boundary between rain and snow will set up and migrate to as the storm progresses slowly eastward.”

“In a narrow swath, all or part of the storm will deliver snow that may be difficult to shovel and plow, due to its accumulation and weight,” Abrams said.

A tremendous temperature contrast will set up from north to south with the storm. A distance of 100 miles could bring temperatures ranging from the 60s and 70s to the 20s and 30s and the difference between rain, ice and snow.

Ice is a concern in between the heavy snow and soaking rain area.

“Because of the great amount of moisture available to this storm, a narrow zone of heavy ice can occur with downed trees and power outages,” Abrams said.

In the warm air on the southern flank of the storm, drenching rain and thunderstorms will occur. Long-duration rainfall will occur near the rain/snow line, while the potential for strong to locally severe thunderstorms sweeping through is greatest over the lower Mississippi Valley.

More at AccuWeather: Kansas to Massachusetts: Up to a Foot of Snow to Fall Across 1,300 Miles