Here are 25 fall tasks to prepare you and your family for fall:
- Get your house ready for winter. Add weatherstripping and insulation, clean out gutters, clear the downspouts, get the fireplace/wood stove ready for use, have the chimney cleaned, check the roof and fix any problem areas, etc.
- Get your yard and garden ready for winter. Clean up your garden and add a cover crop, clean up the yard and get rid of debris, bring the outdoor furniture in, do maintenance on your tools and yard equipment, cut down trees in danger of falling during a storm, etc.
- Have your heating system serviced and change all HVAC filters in your home.
- Change the batteries in all fire detectors when you change the clocks back in October.
- Hold a fire drill with the family, an earthquake drill, and a lock down drill.
- Rotate your emergency water stockpile.
- Rotate and bulk up your emergency food stockpile.
- Get your car ready for winter (change the oil, replace wiper blades, check your tires, get your snow tires or chains ready to use, make sure the emergency kit in your car is stocked, check the anti-freeze, etc).
- Make sure all of your home emergency supplies are ready to go (fuel for gas cook stove, replace batteries in all flashlights, make sure battery-operated radios have fresh batteries, candles and matches are stocked, you have fuel for your alternative heat source, you have a fully stocked first aid kit, etc).
- If you participate in hunting season, make sure your hunting rifles are cleaned and in good working order and that they are sighted in. Get a current hunting license and plan your fall hunting trips.
- If you use firewood, cut your own or buy more then rotate your seasoned wood for winter use.
- Review you and your family's winter clothing; make sure all are in good condition and fit properly.
- Winterize outdoor faucets and/or irrigation systems.
- Be sure to have cash on hand in case the power goes out for an extended period of time and you can't use an ATM to get cash.
- Stockpile emergency items in case the power goes out and you can't get to the store (toilet paper, diapers and formula, dog food, medication, etc).
- Keep a supply of disaster repair items on hand: duct tape, tarps, rope, plastic sheeting, heavy duty garbage bags, 5 gallon buckets, work gloves, etc.
- Make a "sick kit". Include a thermometer, canned soup, tea bags, TheraFlu or similar medication, cough drops, boxes of tissue, lip balm, Gatorade or Pedialite, etc.
- Put together a kit of things to do when the power goes out. Include books, board games, coloring books and crayons for the kids, and other activities that don't require electricity.
- Stock up now as food items go on sale for items needed during the holiday: baking items, Thanksgiving dinner items, Halloween candy, Christmas dinner items, etc.
- Start Christmas shopping (starting early makes the financial impact less painful than doing all of your shopping the week before Christmas).
- Make a plan to keep up your fitness activities into the fall and winter (join a gym or YMCA if you can't exercise outside, buy proper clothing to allow you to continue outdoor fitness activities in cold and wet weather, prep for winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding).
- Be sure your home has a carbon monoxide detector and be aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning, especially during the winter.
- Consider taking a couple of fall and winter camping trips to expand your survival skills.
- Be prepared for: a fire in your home (do you have a fire extinguisher?), iced over walkways and driveways (do you have sand or salt on hand?), high snowfall (do you have a snow shovel? chains for your vehicle?), an extended power outage (do you have an alternative heat source? no-cook food on hand?).
- Be prepared for the most common weather emergencies specific to your area. Is it flooding? Snow and ice storms? Hurricanes?
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