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Author Topic: Home: Winter is coming! (Are you prepared?)  (Read 2115 times)

Sefiru

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Winter is coming! (Are you prepared?)
« on: November 24, 2016, 06:41:13 pm »
Well, the really cold weather is on its way in much of the northern hemisphere (my area had our first snow this week) which means it's time to check if we're ready in case of weather emergencies. Here's a thread to remind each other of what needs to get done.

- check that you have enough batteries for your flashlights, radios etc.
- likewise, candles and matches.
- if you have a vehicle, stock it with sand or cat litter, plus a car kit.
- stock your pantry with non-perishable food, and get rid of anything that's really old. (rancid crackers are both possible and gross.)
- Check your smoke detectors, and for those with gas heating, your carbon monoxide/gas detectors.

What are you making sure to do to get ready for winter?
« Last Edit: May 08, 2019, 10:31:55 am by RandallS »

Jenett

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Re: Winter is coming! (Are you prepared?)
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2016, 07:24:51 pm »
Quote from: Sefiru;199376


 
I don't worry so much about a car kit unless I'm outside my usual habits (my commute to work is 5 miles on fairly main streets but not highways - I might get stuck, but it would be in places I could walk to somewhere warm fairly quickly.)

But things on my list:
- Replacing something for over my face and gloves.

- Really, I should get a shovel that can live in my car. (I rent, and my apartment building plows partly, but doesn't dig out individual spaces. This got me in trouble twice last year.)

- Keeping my portable rechargable battery topped up, and with me (mine is enough to recharge my phone four times, or the iPad about twice before I need to recharge it.)
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missgraceless

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Re: Winter is coming! (Are you prepared?)
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2016, 07:37:06 pm »
Quote from: Sefiru;199376
Well, the really cold weather is on its way in much of the northern hemisphere (my area had our first snow this week) which means it's time to check if we're ready in case of weather emergencies. Here's a thread to remind each other of what needs to get done.

- check that you have enough batteries for your flashlights, radios etc.
- likewise, candles and matches.
- if you have a vehicle, stock it with sand or cat litter, plus a car kit.
- stock your pantry with non-perishable food, and get rid of anything that's really old. (rancid crackers are both possible and gross.)
- Check your smoke detectors, and for those with gas heating, your carbon monoxide/gas detectors.

What are you making sure to do to get ready for winter?
I grew up in Connecticut but currently live in North Carolina so I mostly just need to worry about other drivers. This will be my second winter here and if it's anything like last year I won't have any problems with weather. Plus I have a 4x4 SUV so there's that.
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Redfaery

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Re: Winter is coming! (Are you prepared?)
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2016, 08:06:48 pm »
Quote from: missgraceless;199381
I grew up in Connecticut but currently live in North Carolina so I mostly just need to worry about other drivers. This will be my second winter here and if it's anything like last year I won't have any problems with weather. Plus I have a 4x4 SUV so there's that.
You also need to pray that the infrastructure holds up should an ice storm actually hit. Where I live, power can go out for a couple weeks in some areas.
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Sefiru

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Re: Winter is coming! (Are you prepared?)
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2016, 07:04:54 pm »
Quote from: Jenett;199378

- Really, I should get a shovel that can live in my car. (I rent, and my apartment building plows partly, but doesn't dig out individual spaces. This got me in trouble twice last year.)

 
Hey, that counts as a car kit!

Sefiru

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Re: Winter is coming! (Are you prepared?)
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2016, 07:09:56 pm »
Quote from: Redfaery;199382
You also need to pray that the infrastructure holds up should an ice storm actually hit. Where I live, power can go out for a couple weeks in some areas.


Same here. Snow is mostly dangerous to drivers; ice can endanger everyone.

(I still remember the ice storm we had here that crumpled high-voltage-line pylons. The big steel ones).

Which reminds me:
- pick up a set of ice cleats for my boots.

AsraiDouglas

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Re: Winter is coming! (Are you prepared?)
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2016, 10:15:33 pm »
Quote from: Sefiru;199376

What are you making sure to do to get ready for winter?

In addition to the excellent tips here, I check my solar chargers and associated cables, and my propane stove.

Never never never use a propane stove indoors if you want to live! But, if you have a covered patio, it's  a great option for heating food outside. I also have a wood burning camp stove, but if you don't have an outdoor space or fireplace, MREs can provide hot food and are easily stockpiled. Hot tea and coffee can be a real comfort as well in an extended power outage.

I'm also making sure I have extra cat litter on hand. In addition to taking care of my cat's hygiene, it provides excellent traction in wet snow and ice!


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Chatelaine

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Re: Winter is coming! (Are you prepared?)
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2016, 06:20:02 pm »
Quote from: Sefiru;199376

What are you making sure to do to get ready for winter?


My primary concern is keeping myself healthy, because colds tend to linger with me, and the last thing I want is to be coughing fit to herniate myself when I have practicals at the hospital. So I make sure to carry a scarf and gloves in my backpack, and renew the waterproofing of my jacket and shoes. Flu shot is mandatory, but I also take my vitamins daily, adding fish oil, which I find helps keep SAD at bay.

We have a snow shovel handy, even if we get very little snow - typically only in January or February, and that just a couple of occasions of 2-3 days each. The problem is not the snow itself, but the sheet ice that forms once the fluffy stuff is trampled out of the way, and can take several days to melt away. The street gets ploughed, but our row of houses is on the far side of the parking lot and it takes about 20 terrifying steps on ice to reach the relative safety of the street. My stepmother's expression after crushing the ice with the shovel to clear that 20-step path to the street can only be called gleeful. :eek:

What we've found out the hard way is that yes, you do need to have the boiler serviced (and the radiators bled) every year, and it had better be before the weather turns too cold. If your provider offers emergency repair contracts, take one out! Having to track down a plumber to fix a failed boiler in a snowy February can feel like taking forever.

Local authorities are notoriously wimpy about snow, so schools close and buses grind to a halt as soon as there's an inch on the ground. Parental foresight usually has us stocked up with food to last through the snow-in. I just stockpile chocolate and tea. Windstorms, however, don't affect activities, and I find it more disturbing to be out and about while it's blowing up a gale, wondering when some tree branch is going to crash down onto my head.

I'm currently learning to drive; my dad suggested I do it during the winter so I have the instructor show me how to cope with the worst of weather. I don't think I'll have my licence, let alone a car, before spring, but I can certainly see his point.
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Sefiru

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Re: Winter is coming! (Are you prepared?)
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2016, 07:09:50 pm »
Quote from: AsraiDouglas;199414

Never never never use a propane stove indoors if you want to live! But, if you have a covered patio, it's  a great option for heating food outside. I also have a wood burning camp stove, but if you don't have an outdoor space or fireplace, MREs can provide hot food and are easily stockpiled. Hot tea and coffee can be a real comfort as well in an extended power outage.


Note that it is entirely possible to boil water on a fondue burner, which can be used indoors with the usual precautions for open flames.

Also, before stocking up on MREs or freeze-dried meals, make sure you can actually eat them. No point in making an emergency worse with a case of the trots due to an unexpected food allergy. :(

Sefiru

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Re: Winter is coming! (Are you prepared?)
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2016, 07:14:23 pm »
Quote from: Chatelaine;199459
My stepmother's expression after crushing the ice with the shovel to clear that 20-step path to the street can only be called gleeful. :eek:


Heehee, I know the feeling.

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What we've found out the hard way is that yes, you do need to have the boiler serviced (and the radiators bled) every year, and it had better be before the weather turns too cold.


No kidding. As I write this, the hot water in my building is out. Again. The repairs they did were apparently ... not. Stovetop bath water, here I go.

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Re: Winter is coming! (Are you prepared?)
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2016, 07:38:32 am »
Quote from: Sefiru;199492
No kidding. As I write this, the hot water in my building is out. Again. The repairs they did were apparently ... not. Stovetop bath water, here I go.


Our hot water tank has an immersion coil, so we won't run out of hot water as long as we have power (though I shudder at the thought of the bill). But if the boiler pump isn't working, the central heating won't. either, and keeping rooms livable with dinky fan heaters is an exercise in futility.
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