We’re snowed in again! Our 20 kids love it – just like your kids do! But it takes a lot of preparation to get ready. A few of you have asked what our plan is and we thought you’d all like to know.

Here’s how the average week works -

We keep our large storage freezer full of food at all times – chicken fingers, pizzas, French fries, sweet potato tater tots, lasagnas, other frozen entrees. Plus our pantry has huge cans of fruit, green beans and other vegetables, spaghetti and sauce, mac and cheese, oatmeal, grits, granola bars, snacks and more. We can pull from this storage and pantry as needed for each day's meals.

Then every few days, we make a grocery store trip for eggs, milk, cheese, bread, fresh vegetables, lettuce for salads, bananas, apples, oranges, juice.

Sounds just like your shopping trips, right? Yes! But for 20 kids!

So when bad weather comes our way, we load the two freezers in the shelter house with everything we can think of. We make an extra trip to the grocery store for all of those fresh items plus bottled water. This time around, we’ve planned for being snowed in for three to four days.

It’s quite the assembly line from the storage freezer in our back office to the freezers in the house – perfect job for our teens to help with!

Then we load in toilet paper, paper towels, plates, cups, plastic forks and spoons, bath soap, shampoo and toothpaste. Again – just making sure we’re prepared for anything!

The shelter vans get full tanks of gas. Flashlights are loaded with new batteries. The Xbox and Wii controllers are also loaded with new batteries – gotta keep the kids entertained!

We put boxes of salt in the house to sprinkle on the front steps and walk. This time around, the salt task was given to a very responsible teenager who will want a project.

And how about our staff? On a normal day, houseparents who work 6 am to 2 pm, 2 pm to 10 pm and 10 pm to 6 am. The overnight staff don’t sleep – they’re up doing laundry, checking on kids throughout the night and cleaning.

But in weather situations like this one, all bets are off! Our houseparents pack overnight bags just in case they can’t get out. We have houseparents on standby in case someone can’t get in to work. We brought extra pillows, blankets and quilts in to the house for houseparents who might be staying much longer than a normal eight-hour shift.

So what’s happening today? Tuesday’s afternoon houseparents arrived with overnight bags packed for a few days. They worked their shift, communicated with other houseparents and made the smart decision to stay put at Palmetto Place – for their own safety and for the safety of other houseparents. They took turns sleeping last night and they were up this morning making breakfast and starting a snow day with the kids!

Our kids are so lucky to have houseparents like these – the dedication is admirable.

Now we are just hoping the ice isn’t bad and the power stays on. Never fear, we have a plan for that as well.

Thanks for all your thoughts and concerns! The next time you see our houseparents, please tell them thank you for spending their snow days at Palmetto Place with our big house full of kids!