As summer gives way to fall, it’s already time to be thinking about winter! With cold weather, ice, and possible snow on its way, you don’t want to be caught unprepared for the colder temps and everything that comes with them. Your home, your garden, and even you can be better prepared for what’s to come.
1. Plant Your Winter Garden
As you work to become more self-sufficient, you’ll need to keep your garden blooming all year round with nutritious food.
While winter isn’t exactly known for its bountiful harvests, there are still plenty of options for you to plant if you haven’t already, including garlic, leeks, onions, radishes, lettuce, peas, potatoes, chard, spinach, rhubarb, and other leafy greens such as bok choy and kale.
2. Clean Your Gutters & Check Your Roof
Additional precipitation and the added weight of snow can put a strain on your roof and gutters.
Before temperatures hit freezing, hop on the ladder and clean out your gutters.
Check for errant or missing shingles, which can lead to water damage in your home.
3. Have Your Chimney Serviced
Now is the time to have your chimney serviced and your flue cleaned.
Obstructed chimneys and vents can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.
4. Secure Winter Heat Sources
If you rely on firewood regularly or in a power outage, make sure you have plenty on-hand and that it is given time to “season.”
If your furnace is your main source of heat, have it serviced and make sure that it is in good working order prior to when you are relying on it full-time.
5. Get Outdoor Tools in Order
Preppers love their tools, and there are plenty of useful ones for when a winter storm blows in: shovels, snowblowers, salt, antifreeze, ice scrapers, etc.
Make sure you have access to everything you’ll need so you’re not searching for a good shovel in the middle of a blizzard.
6. Stock Your Car For an Emergency
Getting stuck on the side of the road is a headache, but getting stuck on the side of the road in a blizzard can be hazardous.
Put together a winter emergency kit for your car that includes heavy blankets, hand warmers, flares, a flashlight, a shovel, sidewalk salt, and some extra water and nonperishable foods.
If you end up stranded, you’ll at least make it until help arrives.
7. Prioritize Your Health
Winter can be hard on your body both physically and mentally. The days are short and dreary and the air is cold and dry. Cracked hands and lips can be painful, so make sure to use lotion and chapstick on a regular basis.
Take supplements that can help you ward off colds and nutrient deficiencies.
8. Overstock on Basics
If you live in a region that can be deeply affected by snow and ice, overstock on your basic supplies – especially any food for your livestock and pets.
While you will have your canned goods to fall back on, this is your chance to put aside extra feed that you wouldn’t normally keep on-hand.
9. Dress For the Weather
Do your research, and purchase attire that really delivers. Don’t try to make rain boots work for you in deep snow.
With all of the outdoor maintenance that can come up in the winter, you’ll need high-quality gear that keeps you warm while allowing you to move freely.
Purchase clothes that layer well, as well as an outer layer that protects you from the wind and freezing rain.
10. Generator Maintenance
Fall is the perfect season for generator maintenance, including changing the oil and stocking up on fuel. While the south is in full hurricane season, the north is preparing for winter storm season.
Be sure that you will have access to necessary appliances by performing your maintenance.
Depending on where you live, there can be a good amount of preparation for the winter months – which can stretch on for nearly half the year. Be proactive in the fall to ensure a smooth transition to winter.