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 and now is the time to start doing them before the weather hits! Make sure to share some of your best tips in the comments section so we can all be prepared.
Make sure the areas around the doors is sealed.
We've lived in some crazy houses over the years. Our first little house was a foreclosure and the doors were not in good condition. At the time we lived in the house we couldn't afford to buy new doors so we did the next best thing which was to make sure the areas around the doors are sealed. You can buy some inexpensive foam door tape and place it around any doors without a proper fit or seal. It's amazing what $5 can do! Before we learned of this simple trick we had snow actually coming in our doors of that first house. Afterwards we couldn't even feel the slightest draft.
Seal the windows.
You can buy the plastic window film for pretty cheap this time of year. Watch the sale ads and try to pick it up for around $1 or less. These will help with the drafts coming around poorly sealed window frames. Being in an old farmhouse I will at least be doing this for many of my north facing windows.
Consider your heat source.
Look into getting a wood or pellet stove if you haven't already. If something happens to your power you don't want to be left without a heat source. Make sure to check for rebates that can be available on many stoves and make sure to shop around before you buy to find the best deal.
Have your pantry prepared.
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 when it's cold outside. Pipe insulation only costs a few dollars and it will be well worth the small investment. Look for it at your local hardware stores and lumber yards.
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 incase you can’t get to town. You should also have a warm place for the animal to be out of the elements, no matter if they are a dog or if they are a cow. It doesn't need to be something that you spend a lot of money on...one year we insulated our chicken coop with empty feed bags! As we learned during Mega Storm Atlas, it's also important to make sure the animals can move in and out of their shelters and make sure they have their food and water nearby. Do not leave your home in the middle of a blizzard to check on your animals.
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. This isn't necessarily a "preparedness" tip but it's something that makes your winter much more pleasant!
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. Make sure you have a winter emergency kit in your car. (Something similar to this mini emergency kit.) Also make sure you have blankets and a change of clothes.
Create a Winter Emergency Kit.
I talk about how to create one of these and why you should in my article about making a Winter Emergency Survival Kit here.
Don't forget the fun stuff!
No one wants to feel bored and trapped all winter! Pick up some new board games or other fun things that you can pull out for your family when everyone is starting to get cabin fever.
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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