Thursday, October 15, 2009

Preppin for Winter

In these parts winter will be here soon. While I have lists of things to accomplish by season that will keep the home in good shape, my health in relatively good shape, and tasks done to prepare for certain types of disaster (ie: fastening down the hot water tank in case of earthquake), there are some crisis situations that are almost guaranteed to happen each winter in our area, namely loss of electricity, wind storms, rain storms, flooding, and snow storms. It only makes sense, therefore, to plan ahead of time for these things that will more than likely occur. Here's what we have done to get ready for this winter:
  • Clean the roof and gutters. First to get the moss off then to ensure that the gutters are clear and that water will run off like it should.
  • Cut down an old tree that was near the house and could have fallen on the house given enough wind.
  • Brought everything in that could fly away in a windstorm such as deck chairs, deck table, porch swing, awning, etc.
  • Checked all flashlights (there is one in each room of the house) and ensured they #1, hadn't been removed, and #2, had fresh batteries.
  • Bought more than enough batteries of all sizes for use over the winter.
  • Rotated stored food and water.
  • Rechecked the BOB and the car BOB.
  • Brought in the battery/hand-crank radio so I won't have to dig it out of the emergency supply box when the power goes out.
  • Bought a small, battery-operated digital TV to access news and information during a power outage.
  • Updated the first aid kit (with a healthy helping of flu stuff) since my last bout with the flu kind of depleted these supplies.
  • Fortunately we don't get flooding near the house but I do keep a rake and shovel handy to keep the storm drain grates clear.
  • The snow chains have been dusted off and are ready to use should we get snow.
  • Ensured that we have enough food, toiletries, paper products, and other supplies in case we are snowed in for a couple of weeks like last winter.
  • The wood stove and fireplace are cleaned up and ready to go, along with enough dry fire wood put aside to keep the house warm for a number of weeks if needed.
  • Filled up the propane tank for the gas grill which we cook on if the power goes out.
  • Gasoline has been rotated and filled up (we use this for mowers and tillers during the summer but always keep these gas cans filled up in case we need to use it for the car in an emergency.

That's about it for now. The idea is to prepare for the disasters that are most likely to happen in your area (ie: prep the most for a hurricane if you live in a hurricane-prone area and you know hurricane season is approaching as opposed for preparing for total socio-economic collapse that, while it could happen, is far less likely to happen).

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