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North Bend's ACE Hardware ready to help when winter storms strike
The snow shovels, de-icer and warm mittens are already on the shelves at North Bend ACE Hardware, awaiting customers’ needs as Old Man Winter nears.
Staff at ACE have prepared a winter preparedness and emergency kit list and are ready to help customers with questions.
As October closes and La Niña commences, homeowners should be thinking ahead about how to stay mobile, warm and safe.
“You want to be prepared for the worst,” said ACE Store Manager Chris McCartney, a veteran of 18 Valley winters, including snow storms, floods and prolonged power outages.
Storms often mean a run on the store, so smart shoppers will stock up ahead on everything from de-icer to emergency lamps. When gear and supplies are organized and stored in a safe, dry place, home-owners can be ready for mother nature.
“Before something happens, you want to make sure you have everything on hand,” said assistant manager Raphael Prieto. “Get together with your family and make a list. Go to the store and get it going. Find a place in the pantry or back of the garage, and get everything up.”
Two years ago, Prieto was fighting an illness when a flood struck.
“I was ready to go,” he said. “I had plenty of water, candles and canned food. It was tough, but we got through it.”
Water is a must. Some neighborhoods are on electric wells. When the power goes down, so does the water supply.
Besides stocking “people” food, ACE staff emphasized putting aside extra pet food to ensure animals don’t go hungry during outages or other disasters that may cause disruption in supply chains.
The store’s emergency car kit list includes items that save time and trouble during winter travel. An extra bag of cat litter can also be the ticket out and home when your car gets stuck in a snowy ditch.
Chemical heating pads and glow sticks can provide light and heat without batteries.
Prieto emphasized the need to use camp stoves and grills safely. Residents should never use coal or gas-powered items inside the home, as the carbon monoxide they give off is deadly.
ACE also recommends foam faucet covers and heat tape to prevent frozen pipes and water leaks.
When temperatures dip, “we’ll have people here the next day, lining up to buy repair kits,” Prieto said. Some attention ahead of time can prevent leaks and hassles. Prieto reminds residents to not forget about pipes from well houses to the home, as well.
Winterization should also include treatments to gasoline engines in the boat or RV to prevent cold damage.
Winter brings opportunity for adventure. ACE carries a full selection of sporting goods for families’ camping, hunting and fishing needs.
Camping goods can also come in handy during storms and power outages.
Old and new products, from emergency thermal blankets and Sterno cans to lamps and hatchets, make roughing it a bit easier.
“A lot of this stuff is old school,” Prieto said.
Some customers swear by oil lamps over battery-powered lamps. Oil burns brightly and stores for longer.
The store also carries a hand-cranked LED lamp that lasts for up to 12 hours after a firm cranking.
Keep it coming
ACE knows the importance of staying staffed and stocking inventory during big winter events.
“We make an extra effort to make sure everybody’s here,” McCartney said. “We’ve got committed people. They understand we’ll be here, we’ll keep operations running.”
At need, a regional warehouse keeps supplies running.
“I tell them what we need, they make it happen,” McCartney said. “ACE is the helpful place. That’s what we’re here for—everybody at the ACE warehouse also understands and supports that whole philosophy.”
North Bend ACE Hardware is located at 330 Main Ave South in the Mount Si Village shopping center.
Ready for winter
ACE Hardware suggests stocking the following items:
Prest O Logs
Yak Trax (Shoe Ice Grippers)
Window Seal Kits
Tarps and Straps
Heat Tape (water pipes)
Water Trough De-Icer
Winter Gloves and Hats
Heat Lamps & Holders
Portable Electric Stove Burner
Windshield Washer Fluid
Emergency Car Kit:
Wool Socks, Hat, Gloves
Non-Perishable Snacks (nuts, energy bars, canned fruit and a portable can opener)
Flashlight and Batteries
Hand, Feet, Body Warmers
First Aid Kit
Kitty Litter (snow traction)
Portable AM/FM Radio and Batteries
Flares and/or Reflective Triangle