Winter Weather Preparedness Tips

by Merissa on October 8, 2010

in Featured, Living Like Little House

Winter Weather Preparedness Tips

Winter Weather Preparedness Tips

Yes, it’s definitely that time of year. It’s cold at night and I’m really in the fall cleaning mood.  (Does anyone else feel that way just from the fall wind blowing? Maybe I’m crazy and it’s only me….) It’s time to be getting the house ready for those winter storms.  I know not all of my readers live in an area that gets winter storms but up here in the North we have to be prepared or we will spend all winter cold and counting the minutes until summer comes.

There are several winter weather preparedness tips that you can do to get your homestead livable for those below zero temps and cold winter winds.

Make sure the areas around the doors is sealed. For some reason our tiny little house has 3 doors to the outside which makes it very inefficient. One of the doors was broken into when the house was vacant (before we bought it, it was in foreclosure) so the area around the door is chipped away and the wind blows right in. You can buy seals for around the doors if the wind is coming in through them.  As we have discovered this year, having a storm door really helps also. Last year we actually had snow coming in our front door and ever since we but a storm door on it this summer we can’t even feel a draft coming in around it. The nice storm door we bought will only have cost us about $60 and it was well worth it!  And about that broken into back door…right now it would cost us about $1000 to fix, we've decided it will be more efficient to close off the entryway that it comes into. That way the drafts can’t come into the main part of the house.

Seal the windows. You can buy the plastic window insulators for pretty cheap this time of year. It’s good to watch the Menards ad because they are on sale quite often right now.  These will help with the drafts coming around poorly sealed window frames. I have a couple inefficient windows in my house that we are going to buy the window seals for this winter. My north windows don’t seem to be able to stand up to that cold north wind.

woodstove

Consider your heat source. In the previous 2 winters we haven’t given this one much thought. But this year we started looking at alternative heat sources for the house. Since it was built in the 60’s it doesn't have the best insulation. We looked into getting a pellet or a wood stove since the living room is already set up for one. After looking over prices on both we decided that a wood stove is more efficient. We can get one that heats the whole house for only about $300 or less (after the Energy Star rebate!) and for us, wood is going to be cheap or free to get, whereas with pellets you have to continually buy them and be able to rely on getting to town to get them (which isn’t always an option for us when it really snows).

Have your pantry prepared. I talked about this in the article HERE.

Insulate your water pipes. If your water pipes are accessible it’s a good idea to insulate them. This way you can be less concerned about them freezing and it will also take less time and energy for your water to heat up and get to the source. Pipe insulation only costs a few dollars and it will be well worth the small investment.

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Prepare your animals. If you have outdoor animals it’s a good idea to have a winter plan for the them as well. Like I talked about in the Stockpiling for Winter article it’s a good idea to have extra pet food on hand in-case you can’t get to town. You should also have a warm place for the animal. We will insulate our dog house and we put a heat lamp in the cat house. (Although, I’m a great big sucker and if it’s really bad we end up bring all the animals in the house…) We are also getting our chicken shed ready by insulating the inside (my husband had the genius thrifty idea to reuse old chicken feed bags for the insulation. I’m so proud!) And we are putting a plexiglass window in the chicken shed so they will continue to lay through the winter (so they have light coming in when they can’t be outside).

seeds

Make a winter garden. Like last year I’m going to have a winter garden in the house (a bigger one this year!) so we can have some fresh produce without having to go to the store.

Make sure your cars are ready. Get the oil changed. Put in anti-ice windshield washer fluid. Check and replace the wiper blades if they need it. If you have a 4x4, make sure the 4 wheel drive is working properly (we tested out mine on vacation last weekend :D). Make sure you have a winter emergency kit in your car. I could write a whole article about just that but basically you need to make sure you have blankets, a change of clothes

I hope these winter weather preparedness tips help you get prepared for winter, or at least puts you in that getting-ready mode. We personally know what it’s like to be snowed in a very cold house for several days, without being able to get to town. It’s not fun, but it makes your life easier when you’ve already prepared for the situation.

Want to learn more about Prepping?

Any other ideas, or what do you do to get ready for winter?

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Valerie October 8, 2010 at 4:14 pm

We are getting ready to buy half a cow and half a pig this month. We did it for the first time last year and it saved us so much money! It worked out to a little over a $1/lb and we had enough meat for the whole year until now that it's harvest time again =)

Also, get the snowblower ready.. You never know when the day will come and realize you forgot to get oil or gas!

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2 momma-lana October 8, 2010 at 8:31 pm

Boy this article makes me glad I live in the south!! We do get the occasional ice and snow but I lived in Iowa until I was 9 and I remember!

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3 Nicki July 4, 2012 at 8:46 am

Oh, you are a blogger after my own heart! I found you on Pinterest. I have always LOVED and respected the Little House books and the widsom in them. I’ve even written a blog about it. And I continually ask myself, “What would Ma do?” I am so excited to find your blog, and I appreciate the old-fashioned wisdom applied to today.

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4 Rebecca Chavez August 28, 2012 at 2:14 am

I love these articles…now that we live where it snows in the winter this really helps me think about prepping now.

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5 Sarah Lynne Dupree October 5, 2012 at 5:46 pm

I am stocking my freezer and pantry. Also trying to get all of the children’s clothing and finish all Christmas/birthday shopping so that we can stay in and have a cozy Christmas.

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6 Michelle Mandrell Flynn October 5, 2012 at 6:03 pm

Always seem to be prepping for winter here in Alaska.

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7 Melissa Miller October 5, 2012 at 6:03 pm

Fixed the roof on the barn. Filled barn with feed, getting vehicles ready (antifreeze and battery checks), filling basement with food and doing some cleaning. Yes that was all today (with hubbies help of course!).

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8 Michelle Marty Kane October 5, 2012 at 6:22 pm

All the garden produce is picked and today was the first day we lit the pellet stove. So cozy!

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9 S Chellaine Watters October 5, 2012 at 6:39 pm

A dog house lol

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10 Alicia McCord Charmbury October 5, 2012 at 6:44 pm

Collecting, splitting and stacking firewood.

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11 Val Strande October 5, 2012 at 6:59 pm

Have kerosene lamps and oil on hand. Candles too.

I love your website. I have read the books several times and I got my husband to read Farmer Boy just recently.

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12 Carol Susanne Monaco October 5, 2012 at 7:19 pm

ima bubble wrap my windows!!!!!!! ha ha ha sounds funny but i saw a post on it and ima do it line my windows and then it keeps the cold out

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13 Allyson Szabo October 5, 2012 at 7:47 pm

We put up a lot of food for the winter. Today I started taking the garden down and tucking it in for the season. I planted kale, carrots and parsnips, all which should survive even the New Hampshire winter (they’ll be covered in clear plastic). My beets are in the same raised bed, too. The cucumber plants are all taken down, etc etc. Tomorrow it’s the last (I hope!) mowing of the year, raking up the leaves and putting them into the compost bins.

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14 Susanne Loud September 25, 2013 at 5:40 am

I live in New England and at this point we are pretty much ready for winter. We have wood and pellets for both of our stoves, canned and froze our vegies from the garden. Generators ready along with the tractor,snow blower. Just have to take the AC’s out of the windows. We live in the sticks so we always have food, water, critter food etc. If we lose power it will be for a while. I have oil lamps for every room in my house. I learned from all the power outages we have had. Some for an extended period. We just need to fill the wood boxes inside, then winter can start when ever it wants. Lol Mornings have been cool here so we have had a fire in the pellet stove already also.

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15 Melissa November 21, 2013 at 7:51 am

I wish I had a wood stove! We live in a mobile home and I don’t have a place to put one though hubs and I are discussing trying to rearrange and put one in for next year. Our homeowners insurance forbids kerosene heaters and I don’t think a generator will be enough so I have been scouring for back up heat source ideas. We have lighting mostly taken care of I just need to grab a few more cans of camp fuel for the lanterns but we have plenty of battery powered and solar lights as well. Lots of food as I keep a minimum 3 month working pantry with some staples in a 6mo to 1yr supply. (Don’t ask where I stash it all lol its a challenge). Snow removal is already taken care if my hubs plows as a side job so he can get our driveway no problem. I do need some more ice melt for the steps and some good washer fluid for the car but otherwise I think we are pretty well set. Now if my boys would stop loosing their gloves I’d be happy :)

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16 Deborah January 31, 2014 at 8:04 pm

I added solar powered outside lights as a back-up also…as they could be used indoors also if needed!

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