Is it getting colder?
The temperature has definitely been dropping. Was it really only a month or so ago that I was begging for winter. Well now the cold is here and we seem to have skipped right over fall. There is a chill in the air and coats are already coming out. That’s right coats, what happened to cozy sweaters?
We haven’t had our first snow fall yet but I thought I would remind everyone of last winter and all the fun it brought.
Yup that’s right, three-four foot icicles.
Remind me again; why did I spend hours shoveling this, just to have it snow over night and block me back in.
And who can forget the foot deep overhangs. This one almost took out my gutters.
Last season my family and I were totally unprepared for the viciously cold winter that lasted way to long. We did not have snow shovels and every time I went to buy one they were sold out. We got so desperate that I was calling stores to find out when there next shipment in would be. I showed up ten minutes after the expected arrival at one store. They were sold out. I was told I missed the stampede by a good eight minutes. That people were waiting in line for two hours. Can you believe that? Just for snow shovels. We ended up borrowing a friends and paying some local boys to help clear the snow.
We have a wood burning fireplace in our home. I know “how cozy” right. Well I found last winter that if you don’t actually have wood it does no good. The prepackaged logs that you can pick up outside the grocery store don’t produce much heat, neither do logs that have been buried in three feet of snow for a month.
So here is my shopping list and pre-winter plans to make this fast approaching transition into the cold months smoother.
How to Prepare for Winter
Thing you should have around the house:
- Flash light – in case you lose power, candle will work to but a flash light is safer.
- Extra batteries – in case your kids like to use the flashlight for play and the batteries die. It is good to have extra for your child’s hand held games as well. Hours with out the TV can be a drag if the PSP isn’t working either.
- Games – have something to do when you are stuck in the house.
- Road salt – after you shovel all that snow it is nice to have salt outside your front door to melt any ice. Organic Ice Melt works well and isn’t harmful to your pets or your drive.
- Water – it is just a good idea to have it around.
- Ready to eat meals – If you are out of power or can’t get to the store, you should have something handy to eat.
- Cord Phone – most wireless wont work without power. It is fine not having a phone for a few hours but days with out can get frustrating.
- First aid kit – again it is just a good idea to have it around.
- Snow shovels – get them now before they are gone.
- Snow boots – get them now before they are also gone.
- Wood – (and matches, out of reach of children) stored in a dry place – only applies if you have somewhere to burn it.
Do: Clean out your gutters.
Don’t: Use an old rickety ladder – In the U.S., more than 500,000 people are treated for ladder related injuries each year.
Do: Get your furnace serviced.
Don’t: Use your dads best buddies old neighbor. It should only cost around$125 to have a professional do it.
Do: Get your chimney swept.
Don’t: Ignore this one. A chimney fire right before Christmas is no fun.
Do: Shut off and wrap your water spigots and outside pipes.
Don’t: Use old socks. Get some pipe styrofoam from your hardware store.
Do: Cover your condensing unit (outside ac/heating unit)
Don’t: Use a blanket or tarp. Get a breathable, waterproof cover specifically made as a unit cover.
Do: Check windows and doors for drafts.
Don’t: Use old socks (notice a theme) get some weather strips from the hardware store to help create a seal around any openings.
It may sound like a lot but this should get you started. Anything I missed, leave a comment to add to the list.