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 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.

Read more about this in my Stockpiling for Winter article. Don't forget to stockpile water as well!

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 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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{ 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!


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!


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.


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.


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.


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

Always seem to be prepping for winter here in Alaska.


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!).


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!


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

A dog house lol


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

Collecting, splitting and stacking firewood.


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.


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


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.


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.


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 🙂


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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