These 7 Ideas to Prepare for Winter Weather Will Make You Merry and Bright! They Provide Safety, Security, and Peace of Mind So You Can Focus on Family.
It’s finally feeling like fall here in Oregon, although I know several areas of the country have already had snow. It’s been a crazy year for weather! With all Mother Nature brought us this spring and summer, I gearing up for an equally crazy winter. Last year Oregon got several ice storms and not many people were ready for them, so lesson learned.
This is my to-do list for the next month as I try to prep my home and family to prepare for winter weather and another potentially crazy season.
1) Prep Plants
This includes frost protection and mulching to help keep plants happy and comfortable during their winter nap. Fall is also a key pruning time for many perennials and trees, so get out there on those clear crisp days to spruce things up for maximum yield next year. And if you’ve been doing a yard renovation (like us) be sure to get all that yard debris cleaned up, shredded, or burned so it doesn’t damage your efforts or yield unwanted weeds and muckiness.
2) Insulate Pipes and Spigots
This is especially important in older homes and areas prone to power outages. Keeping pipes from freezing is so important. No one wants busted pipes for Christmas (trust me, I know!).
Take time now to inspect your pipes for minor leaks or other weaknesses to take care of them while they are cheap and easy instead of waiting for a storm to send you a notice. Unhook hoses outside and put one of those nifty little covers on. Small task, big peace of mind.
3) Stock Up on Fuel and Get an Alternative Heat Source
Woodcutting has been our big task all summer. With so many storms last year we barely made it through the winter before our wood stash was depleted. If you’re able to, cut enough for next year so it can dry as well.
If you don’t have an alternative heat source for power outages, now’s the time to get one. Generators or other alternatives take time to get familiar with using. Figure out how to use them now so it’s a quick and easy set up when the power is out and the cold is creeping in.
4) Add a Coat and Hand Warmers to 72 Hr Kits
We often focus on preparing our home and cars for winter weather but preparing our preps is just as important. Adding a coat, extra socks, hand/foot warmers, blankets, and long sleeve shirts to your kits will keep a disaster situation from turning into a double disaster due to cold winter conditions. It’s also a great time to rotate your food and water and check batteries and equipment.
5) Get Chimneys and Furnaces Cleaned and Review Heater Safety
Whenever we think winter weather we think cold, but the reality is it brings an increase in house fire risks. Chimneys, furnaces, heaters in the house, Christmas trees…. these all get used during these colder months and we often aren’t very mindful of them or their risks.
Teach your kids how to respect space heaters, and give that chimney and furnace a little TLC so they don’t break or fail this year.
6) Snow Tires/Chains for Your Car and Add Warming Materials Along With Snow Gear
Don’t wait until it’s snowing (or pouring buckets in the PNW) before doing something about your tires. Not only will it save time because you won’t be battling the line of everyone else who didn’t do it earlier, but it prevents being forced to wait when demand wipes out supply.
Be sure your chains are in working order, you know how to quickly put them on, and they fit properly. And if you’re tires are close to needing a replacement just bite the bullet and do it now. Don’t wait until you slide or hydroplane before determining you need to replace them. While you’re outfitting your ride for winter, update your car emergency kit with blankets, hand/foot warmers, an emergency blanket, and a red streamer in case you get stuck in the snow. Throw in some supplies to help get you out if you’re stuck: a small shovel
While you’re outfitting your ride for winter, update your car emergency kit with blankets, hand/foot warmers, an emergency blanket, and a red streamer in case you get stuck in the snow. Throw in some supplies to help get you out if you’re stuck: a small shovel and a bag of gravel/sand can help get you out of a tight space. Hint: floor mats can help too.
7) Clean Your Roof and Gutters
All that precipitation on your roof can come at a cost this winter if you’re not ready. Now’s the time to remove the debris and moss from the roof, these allow moisture and ice to mess up shingles. Be mindful of potential ice dam areas, these allow water underneath the ice to melt and eat away at your roof until there’s a leak.
Gutters need to be cleaned and in good repair to quickly get run off, off the roof and where it belongs. Check now for potential weak spots and shingles that may need to be replaced or reinforced. It may be too late to replace your roof this season, but there’s still plenty you can do to mitigate damage.
These 7 ideas to prepare for winter weather will make your winter merry and bright! They will provide you safety, security, and peace of mind while you focus on family gatherings and holiday shopping. So take advantage of your next few weekends and mark off those to do’s. What other preparations have you found helpful?
What are the other winter preparations on your list?