“The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.”
– John F. Kennedy
Winter is around the corner for most of us, although it is already here for some. According to the farmer’s almanac, we are going to have a winter like last ( and it is already looking like it). Are you ready? If not here a few things you should do to get ready.
I am going to go over some of the things that you need to do before for winter sets in and a few things to get ready for a hard winter and power losses.
The first thing is getting ready for winter is to get your house ready, make sure all outside water is off and the hoses are unhooked and put away. Wrap or insulate pipes that need to be insulated wrap your hot water heater if needed. Cover windows with plastic if you have single-paned or older drafty windows. If you have heavy winter cutians hang them now if not put up heavy blankets or quilts over windows. (Never get rid of heavy blankets and quilts ). Open up curtains during the day to heat up with the sun. Get draft stoppers for the doors out, or make up some, a rolled-up towel will work if you don’t have anything else. If you have leaky doors find some heavy blankets to hang in front of them at night. You can also do this on rooms that you are not using.
Installing a wood-burning stove is probably your best option, if at all possible. That’s what we have. Outdoor boilers, or water stoves as they are called, are great for heating your home without using the furnace, but they still require a small amount of electricity. If you do opt for the wood stove, try to get one that you could cook on as well. We put in a wood stove several years ago it has been wonderful. If you have a wood stove you need to try and have at least of years worth of firewood on hand.
If you lose power and a wood stove isn’t an option you can look into an indoor propane heater (make sure it is well vented). Or an electric heater if you have a generator ( do not bring the generator into the house). If you have a gas stove you can also turn on the burners and oven to heat up the house also if you put a pan on the stove to boil it helps to warm the house. Close off all rooms and have everyone sleep in one central room in warm sleeping bags, have hats, mittens, and thermal underwear, dress in layers.
Have several days worth of water on hand just in case you lose power or you have frozen pipes and no water. Make sure you have enough to drink, cook with, pet water, water to flush with, and to clean up with. Have paper plates and plastic silverware to use if you don’t have water so you don’t have to worry about washing dishes. Don’t forget you can melt snow for water if you are going to drink or cook with it be sure to boil first.
Have enough food on hand to last at least a month ( you really should have more) this way if you are snowed in you don’t have to worry about trying to get out to go to the store ( they may not have anything on the shelves if trucks can’t get through). Don’t forget comfort foods and easy to fix foods.
Have a backup plan to cook if the power goes out. If you have a wood stove you can use it to cook on. You can also use an outdoor grill ( outside) if it is propane have a couple of extra propane bottles on hand if charcoal have a couple of extra bags of charcoal. A camp stove is another option you can use, use it in a well-vented garage ( window or door partial opened) have extra fuel containers on hand. And push come to shove you can cook outside on an open fire have a fire pit doable with extra wood before it snows. It may be super cold out but once you get a fire going it will keep you warm while you cook. Don’t forget matches and lighters to light stoves and fires with.
If you lose power you are going to want some light sources, Candles are good but don’t put off much light and if using candles be very careful you can put a candle in front of a mirror to help reflect some of tehlight., Battery operated lanterns are awsome they put out a lot of light, propane lanterns are also good ( be sure to have enough propane or batteries) Have several flashlights on hand also. Open curtains during the day for light. You can also use your outside solar lights just put them outside during the day to charge and then bring in at night. I have several of the cheaper ones that I keep on hand just for this.
Don’t forget to have enough food on hand for them also. If you have outside animals be sure to have a place where they can get in out of the snow. Make sure they have thawed water every day.
Have several quilts and blankets on hand then if the power goes out cove your freezers and fridge to help them keep frozen. Don’t open unless you absolutely have to. Have some 2-liter bottles filled with water in the freezer ( I like to have all my extra room filled with these) then if you lose power you can put them in the fridge to help keep it cool. Be sure and keep your freezer full ( even if you have to fill with extra bottles of water) then if you lose power the food will stay frozen longer. Don’t forget you can store food outside (or in your vehicle) to keep it cold.
Have lots of books and games on hand if you are snowed in and lose power it will be a sanity saver to have a few distractions and something to help pass the time.
A battery-operated radio would also be nice to have so you can have an idea of what is going on around you if you lose power.
If you have a landline phone be sure to have a phone that just plugs into the jack and doesn’t use electricity these will still wok when the power is down
Have a snow shovel and ice melt handy and easy to get to. Don’t forget to have a bucket of kittie litter that you can use on sidewalks and to put on the snow if you get stuck in the car it gives the tires a little traction. ( carry some in your trunk also).
Have winter coats and shoes with you at all times. Have water and some food in your car then if you get stuck or stopped in traffice you have some food and water and a way to stay warm. Wouldn’t hurt to have a change of warm clothes with you also. Having a car kit would be great also you can go here to see what to put in one. As mentioned above have kittie litter with you. And most importantly never ever let your fuel tank get below half in the winter. Remember that if you do get stuck in the snow and want to run your engine make sure your exhaust pipe is clear and open a window a crack while running your car.
I think I got it all covered if I missed something let me know and I will add it.