Autumn is Just Around the Calendar Corner, It’s Time to Prepare for Winter – Class Notes
As we work through the coming week, let’s continue the conversation, and our preparedness planning. This week’s Class Notes focus in on the change of seasons coming. Even as we are enduring the summer heat, the cooler temperatures of autumn are just around the corner. Winter will follow quickly after. This is an excellent time to look forward, and to be sure everything’s in order before the rain and snow arrive.
Also a few words of caution… Earth’s declining magnetic field is having an impact on the behavior of jet streams, and on the weather. This will mean strange and unexpected weather events, and some of these may be severe. We have also seen the effects of shortages, and it’s wise to work on your preparations early and while the materials needed may be more readily available.
Gear up and get ready, no matter where you live. Be safe.
Here are a few helpful reminders…
- For everyone with a fireplace woodstove… Check in with a qualified chimney sweep. Have your flu cleaned, and ask for a safety check on the flu and on your fireplace or wood stove. Make any repairs well in advance of winter weather.
- If you rely on gas or wood heat, are your supplies in place? This is a good opportunity to top off your propane tanks, or to cut-split-and-stack your winter firewood. Keep your firewood dry. Be sure you have also prepared kindling, and keep fire starters on hand as a back-up. These are especially helpful if the wood hasn’t fully seasoned and dried.
- Keep a supply of salt or a product like Ice Melt on hand. Use these to protect access to points of entry or egress for safe passage. Industrial grade brooms and shovels are also helpful.
- Do you own any wool blankets or cold-rated sleeping bags? Severe cold is a killer. Don’t take chances. Power outages are often resolved with relative speed, but not always! A severe winter storm, a solar flare (solar EMP), or an attack on the power grid may have much longer term consequences. For anyone allergic to protein based fibers, there are good quality cold-rated sleeping bags made from alternative materials. Remember that the insulation value is critical to your protection, and not all materials are equal in this regard.
- Can you safely cook food if the power goes out? How about your water supply? What is the back-up plan? You might consider a small outdoor grill or even a rocket-stove. Think about easy-to-prepare meals including options for emergency food supply kits. Think protein! Watch those carbs.
- Have you updated any necessary medications or the usual OTC remedies and first aid supplies?
- Check your stash of hats, gloves, mittens, scarves, long underwear, quality leather boots, and wool socks! Do you have a good quality winter coat? How about rain ponchos? Sturdy umbrellas?
- Have you made protective provisions for the vulnerable including children, the disabled, and the elderly? Your pets? Be sure to have a plan, and check in on those who may not know to call for help or be able to do so.
- Be sure to keep a few good books and even board games on hand. If the power goes out, or the grid goes down, there won’t be any television or internet. There may or may not be phone service.
- Keep fresh batteries for your flashlights and battery-powered lanterns on hand, and perhaps a few candles. Be smart and conscious of fire safety. Don’t solve one problem by creating the far greater risks of another bigger problem. The same is true for space heaters. Be very, very careful.
- In the event of severe weather, do all you can to stay off the roads. Should you need to travel in the event of an emergency, do you have a back-up plan to start your vehicle? When temperatures are very cold, this can be an issue. You may want to consider a spare battery, or a battery booster like the Schumacher Jump Starter.
Start early. Make your plans now. The goal should be a safe and healthy winter no matter what comes!
You can do it. Let’s get started!
HINT: Survival is one of those pass-fail kinds of courses. A passing answer shall not include “there is nothing else I can do”. There’s a lot you can do. Let’s get started.
Stay the course. Stay well. Be safe everyone!
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