We thought we had our winter preparedness in the bag this year and felt totally prepared for whatever lay ahead because winter was coming weather we liked it or not. About 3 weeks ago we realized winter is not coming…winter is here (anyone know what show that is from-any Game of Thrones fans here?) Here are 4 things that we overlooked that might be helpful for others to read about so they don’t end up in the same boat as us! The snow has been crazy here, here is our snow pile from our driveway clearing, it’s as tall as the shop!
Four winter preparedness tips
Below are four winter preparedness tips that hopefully will help you avoid the stress and inconvenience that we have been dealing with for the last couple weeks! We have had lots of snow (as have other parts of the country) and tons of wind creating huge snow drifts everywhere! This is one of the drifts in my dog’s kennel, it is as tall as our 8 foot fence!
#1 Have your alternate heat and light source ready to use!
Having an alternate heat source is critical. A couple weeks ago we had a major wind storm that knocked the power out for a few hours. With low temperatures and 25 mph winds it felt like -14 degrees Fahrenheit. We knew the temperature was going to drop quickly. Fortunately, 2 days previously my husband had ordered an emergency heater which is a safe to use indoor heater. Unfortunately, it was still in the box, never been opened, not put together. We had the joy of assembling it in the powerless house by flashlight light. We were prepared in the aspect that we knew where 5 flashlights were stashed throughout the house. They all were in working condition and we were able to grab the camping lantern too. Luckily by the time we got the heater assembled, it had only dropped to 55 degrees in the house and we were able to warm it up quick!
#2 Snow removal equipment and tools
This is the first year we have had a crazy amount of snow at our new house. The wind has been blowing and the drifts are impressive. What was not impressive is that we have 1 snow shovel and one TERRIBLY cheap scoop shovel that bent and broke after day one. This made the snow shoveling task fall on the shoulders of one person and it was exhausting work! Today 3 weeks into this crazy winter, we had to go to 3 stores to find a decent scoop shovel. It reminded us that in the middle of the worst snow season we have seen in 7 years is NOT the time to be trying to buy equipment. The snow blowers are selling out as fast as they can get them in as well. If you live in a place where you might have snow, I’d recommend buying the proper equipment at the end of this season when they all go on sale. We are going to stock up! Here is part of our snow pile, we put a slide on the side of it!
#3 Flexibility and back up plans
We had the most lovely Christmas at my parent’s house this year with a couple of my siblings, their spouses and kids. While we were there, they got 15 inches of snow on Christmas Day. We had intended to come home the day after Christmas but were unable to because the roads were all closed. We had planned ahead as we had been tracking the storm. We knew we needed to have the people caring for our chickens and dogs to come an extra day since we wouldn’t be home. When they couldn’t make it through our driveway, we panicked a little bit. What we should have done is made a back up plan. We will be sure to do that in the future so we don’t have to worry about our animals! The drifts are so high and hard that we can walk across them and step over fences. Somehow half the chair isn’t buried yet, but underneath the drift is a picnic table and fire pit!
#4 Food and water
This one has been talked about over and over and over everywhere, I know, but until you are in this situation where you can’t get to the store or the trucks with the goods can’t get to you, it really hits hard! Be prepared and have at least 2-3 days of food on hand in your cabinet. I know there were some people saying via Facebook that they couldn’t get out of their driveways and they literally had 2 cans of food. Please please please stock a little food and water in case this ever happens to you!
I hope these tips help you and that you can learn from our mistakes. The snow may be a pain and caused us a lot of frustration the past few weeks, but it sure it beautiful!