Are You Prepared for the Coming Harsh Winter?
Winter Will Be Here Soon
Autumn is a beautiful time of year, spoiled by only one thing, the knowledge that winter will be here soon. If you live in a temperate climate,it's not that important, however, if you live in an area of snow and cold that's a whole different matter. The Old Farmers Almanac has predicted that this winter will be "super cold" with the possibility of above normal snowfall for the midwest and eastern US.
This is not a joke or a hoax. If you think it is, please watch the video below. The Old Farmers Almanac has been predicting the weather for 223 years with 80% accuracy.
Harsh Winter Coming
Preparation is Essential
Have you ever gone to the store right before a big snowstorm? If so, I am sure you were surprised to see empty shelves, long checkout lines, maybe even people fighting over who was there first to buy things like salt, show shovels, bottled water and canned food.Sometimes they even try to grab other peoples purchases in the parking lot, fights break out and people can get hurt. It is a dangerous situation when people wait till the last minute to prepare for bad weather and they can't get what they need.
This is not a situation you want to be in, so the time to get what you need to keep you and your family safe, warm and fed, is now.
What Do You Need to Be Prepared?
The five most important things that you need are:
- Alternative Heat Source
- Food and Water
- Warm Clothing
- Means of Communication
Let's go over them one at a time and I will show you what I use and recommend.
1. Alternative Heat Source
If your home is heated by electricity, or a furnace lit by electronic ignition, you will lose your heat during a power outage. Unless you have a wood stove, it is important that you have another source of heat. Whatever you do, NEVER use a heater that is meant to be used outdoors, like a kerosene heater, torpedo heater or barbecue grill. The fumes from these devices will build up in your house and can kill you.
I bought in indoor safe small propane heater called Mr. Heater Buddy. I easily heats one large room if you close the doors. It will keep my living room comfortable, if you wear a sweater and is the best heater I have found for emergency use. I always crack a window a little bit, just to be safe and I don't leave it on unattended. It does the job whenever I needed it and I highly recommend it. Don't forget to buy propane bottles, and if you buy large propane tanks, you will need to buy the adapter hose as well.
Mr. Heater Buddy
4,000- to 9,000-BTU - Dimensions: 9 by 14-1/5 by 14-2/5 inches
Heats spaces up to 200 square feet
Safe to use indoors, close to 100% efficient
Shuts off automatically, if tipped over or if the pilot light goes out
Shuts off immediately if it detects low oxygen levels
Uses 5 to 20 pound propane tanks (not included)
One year limited warranty
When you have no power there are three ways to provide light.
1. Flashlights - Not practical in the long term
2. Candles - Inexpensive, but provides very little light unless you use many at once
3. Oil Lamp - The least expensive and provides the most light
I recommend using oil lamps if you need light during a power outage. The amount of light can be adjusted, there is no open flame and they are easy to carry around without going out. Don't forget to stock up on lamp oil and extra wicks!
Metal and glass construction
12 inches tall
Carry handle or hanging loop
Easy access to oil tank
3. Food and Water
As I stated above, it is important to stock up on food and water before a major storm because you don't want to have to go out and try to buy some just prior, or during a major storm. If the weather is really bad then the trucks are unable to deliver food to stores, so that means that they will run out of many items in a day or two. To lower costs, most stores only carry two days of stock at any given time, so when people start panic buying, the shelves are bare almost immediately. Can goods and bottled water will be the first things to go, so buy yours now and you can relax.
A person needs about two liters of water a day, so keep that in mind when stocking up. You can buy 5 gallon containers of water to store or you can buy cases of bottled water. If you are stuck without stored water, or you run out, you can melt snow for water, but if you do this, make sure to boil the melted snow for a minimum of one minute, to purify it, before you drink it. Do not eat snow directly for the water because it can be contaminated and will make it hard for your body to maintain heat.
There are two ways of stocking up on food for emergencies. You can buy rice and beans and can goods at a regular grocery store and store them. If you do this, make sure your non-canned food is sealed in airtight, insect and critter proof buckets. This method of food stocking takes up quite a bit of room, and you will need some shelves to put them on. They also need to be rotated with fresh can-goods at least once a year. Can goods do not stay good forever, most have a shelf life of only two years at the most.
The easiest way to stock up on food is to buy a few buckets of emergency goods. The quality of the meals in these buckets has improved radically in the last decade, and most of them are actually quite good. I prefer Augason Farms brand, their food is tasty as well as better priced than other brands. The best part is, all you have to do is add boiling water and stir and you have a hot meal. You will appreciate the simplicity of this way of feeding your family in an emergency. You can also take comfort in the knowledge that they are made with quality ingredients and will keep you and your family healthy and well fed during a crisis. Another reason I like these buckets is that if you are forced to leave your home, they are easy to grab and take with you.
30 Day Augason Farms Food Bucket
Video - 30 Day Food Storage Pail Augason Farms Review
4. Warm Clothing
If you do any type of outdoor sports or hiking, you probably already have the clothing you need to stay warm if you lose your heat in a storm. If you don't, then you need to stock up on long underwear, wool socks, and clothing you can layer like sweatshirts and pants, hoodies, leggings, coats, gloves and hats. A good pair of waterproof boots is also a must.
It's also a good idea to have thermal sleeping bags, if possible. During a winter power outage, you will need to pick one room to heat and live in. Cover the windows with blankets and camp out on the floor in sleeping bags. Thermal sleeping bags are designed to keep your body heat in and are perfect for keeping you warm in an emergency situation.
5. Means of Communication
If you lose power, then you will lose your TV, internet and eventually cellphone. You do not want to be caught with no means to keep in touch with what is going on in the outside world. Make sure you have a good quality battery powered radio and plenty of extra batteries. It's important that you know what is going on outside your home, and keep advised of any evacuations, or power restoration information. Make sure you are aware of the dial location of several local all news channels and check them several times a day.
Battery Operated Radio
Large numbers for easy tuning
FM/AM Separate Dials
Operated on batteries or plug in
Cylinder type tuning knob
Keep Your Cellphone Charged
You may want to invest in a solar charger for your cell phone. Unfortunately, in the midst of a really bad snow storm they will not be of much use, since the sun isn't out. However, after the storm is over, you may have some sun and if so, you can use it to charge your phone or tablet.
I bought one of these to have for emergencies and I find myself using it quite a bit. It's small enough to carry in your back pack or book bag and comes in handy if you like to hike or spend time outdoors. I find it to be a very worthwhile thing to have and I recommend it.
PowerIQ technology is compatible with Android, Apple and other devices by enabling charge speeds of up to 1 amp per port in direct sunlight.
Dimensions: 9.25 × 6.69 inches \ 23 × 16cm folded or 19.2 × 9.1in \ 49 × 23cm opened
Eyeholes allow easy attachment to backpacks while hiking.
PET plastic faced solar panels in polyester canvas for outdoor durability.
References and Image Credits
Weather Information Source: http://investorplace.com/2014/08/farmers-almanac-weather-predictions/#.VBy77BaBTEU