Preparing for Winter – What you Need to Know

Preparing for winter is so important, especially if you live in the country.

preparing for winter

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I had a different post planned today, but last night we got hit with a wallop of snow.  This reminded me that I meant to write a post about winter preparedness weeks ago, but it slipped my mind.

Of course, it’s always better if you can prepare for the winter BEFORE the snow comes, but even if the snow is already here there are things you can do to make sure you are prepared.

We are into our second year on our homestead and let me tell you, we learned a lot the first year.  Often we learned it the hard way.  When winter comes, if we are not prepared and would be hit by a storm we could be in trouble.  We live on a dead end road and are the only house on the dead end, which means we are last on the list to see a snow plow.  We can easily get stuck at home and in that situation we want to make sure we have everything we need.

Today I am going to share some of the ways you can make sure you have taken care of winter preparedness in your home.

TIPS FOR PREPARING FOR WINTER

Store Extra Water.  If you are on a well this is super important, but even if you are not on a well it is a good thing to do.  When the power goes out your well is not going to give you water.  We learned this the hard way when we were hit with a huge wind storm last year and were out of power for around 30 hours.  Not only did we need water for drinking, and the animals, but toilets don’t flush without it!  That might be fine for a couple of hours, but close to thirty hours and it’s getting bad.  That is one incident I would rather never re-live. 🙂

Stock your wood.  if you have a wood stove or a fireplace, make sure you always have a plentiful supply of wood.  If the power goes out in the winter you are going to get cold fast without a way to heat up your home.  Of course, this isn’t possible for everyone if you don’t have a wood stove or fireplace, but if you do, make sure you are well stocked.  Also make sure you are stocked with matches or lighters, newspaper, and kindling to make starting a fire possible.

Keep your pantry full.  If you are snowed in for a few days, you don’t want to have empty cupboards.  Even if you stock up on the staples like oats and rice, that will feed you for a while.  Buy these items in bulk and store them in airtight containers.  I like storing my grains in  food safe 5 gallon buckets and I buy the Gamma Seal Lids for an airtight seal that keeps critters out.   Here are what the lids look like:


While the lids aren’t the cheapest, They last and there is a good chance you won’t need to replace them ever.  Plus, I love these lids because you can just unscrew the lid instead of hurt your fingers trying to pry those other lids off!

Also,  it is wise to stock up on foods you don’t need to cook if you don’t have a wood stove, like canned vegetables, pasta, etc.

 

Put down extra bedding for animals.  If you have a homestead you may want to put down extra bedding to keep them warm.  Our coop isn’t as well insulated as I would like it to be so we always mix straw in with the wood chips we usually use in the coop during the winter to add warmth through the colder months.

Cover any leaking windows with plastic.  We live in an old, drafty home.  Some of our windows are not in good shape so until we can replace them we cover them up with the plastic that is made for sealing up windows.  We do the same to our patio doors.

Replace or add any weatherstripping needed.  We added weatherstripping around our doors and can’t believe the difference it’s made!  It definitely keeps the drafts out.

Stock up on candles and flashlights.  If the power goes out you will want something that gives you some light.

Keep food for animals well stocked.  If you own a homestead you want to make sure you don’t wait until the food is almost out for the animals before you restock.  If you get snowed in you won’t be able to get to the feed store to get the food you need for them.

Keep supplies in the vehicle.  Winter preparedness isn’t just for at home.  I know I’m not the only mom who is always telling my kids to bring hats and mittens in the vehicle when we go anywhere.  My kids finally understood why I did this last year after we ended up in a ditch in the dark where few cars passed by.  Thankfully we were just a kilometer away from our house and were able to walk home, but if we hadn’t been and weren’t properly dressed it could have been a problem.

You can store extra hats and mittens in the vehicle, along with some blankets.  Aside from stuff to keep you warm, you should keep things like a shovel, a flashlight, and kitty litter in your vehicle.  The kitty litter can help your wheels gain traction if you get stuck in the snow.

Preparing for winter can help ease any anxiety when the snow comes.  If a big storm is in the forecast you can have peace in knowing that you have everything you need should you be without power for a few days or snowed in.

Sometimes being snowed in isn’t such a bad thing.  It causes us to slow down and just enjoy the beauty of the snow!  We kind of like snow-y weekends with nowhere to go at our house.   We put on a big pot of stew or chili and bake some homemade bread.  After an afternoon of snow we enjoy hot chocolate by the fire.  There are definitely worse ways to spend my days. 🙂

Related:  Emergency Preparedness – Why you need a Plan

 

 

 

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