With winter just around the corner, it is vital that we start to prepare for the storms that are inevitable this time of year. There are several things that you can do in order to be ready in case a storm makes it difficult to get out to resupply – and to just stay ahead of things during one of the roughest times of year for those living off grid.
Some of the simple steps include downloading weather apps on your phone to get alerts before a storm moves in to your area, making sure you top off your usual emergency supply kits/stockpile, and including fuel for vehicles or backup generators.
Also make sure that you don’t let your water supply get low by trying to maintain at least a couple of weeks to a month’s supply on hand at all times, especially if you use tanks to store your water due to lack of access to wells or other water supplies.
Of course, other issues you may face will be the wind and the cold during the winter months. For these reasons it is important to prepare and even over-prepare by thinking about temporary shelters – and make your primary shelter stronger than you think you will need.
It is always better to be over prepared than under prepared in case things go from everyday living to a survival situation.
Making sure that your home and other structures are secured, have extra insulation, plastic sheeting, duct tape, and plenty of extra blankets is one way to prepare for any extended periods of cold when you may find yourself without power for one reason or another.
You’ll also want to consider secondary heating sources and stocking extra firewood, ordering some disposable hand warmers from surplus stores and keeping an extra supply of canned goods on hand as well.
Don’t forget about being prepared for winter driving conditions. A quick trip can easily turn into an emergency situation when traveling in unpredictable winter weather. Keeping an emergency bag in your vehicle can save your life. Include necessities such as a first aid kit, water, a small shovel, matches and candles or a flashlight, snack foods like energy bars, blankets, extra hats and mittens, snow chains and a tow rope, a whistle emergency flares or reflectors, and booster cables.
This is not the time of year to let your guard down, and if you are new to off grid living or homesteading, you will want to talk to those more experienced and be sure to stock up on more supplies than you expect to need.
Test your batteries and inverters on your solar power systems to make sure they are in tip top shape as well and basically give your home a few inspections before winter gets itself locked in.