Monday, 7 October 2013

Winter's Coming! Are you prepared?

My husband is paranoid.  Ask him what's the worst thing that could happen and he'll have a lot of answers - one of which will be the death of all the worms...

With winter slowly but surely approaching, it's time for his paranoia to be put to good work.  Living over ten miles from the nearest town, the heavy snows of last year caused several logistical issues for our family - though not anywhere near the level of devastation and isolation some communities experienced.  Fortunately, due to his paranoia, we were pretty well prepared - as we intend to be this year too.

You may think it's too early to worry about the extremes of winter weather, but you can never start preparing too early!  Here's some top tips for surviving the Great Snow Fall!  Those of you in cities can sit back and smile indulgently at the concerns of the countryside, but there might be a few ideas you can use - especially if the transport systems grind to a halt again.

Husband's Top 10 Tips

1. Make sure your cellar (if you should be in possession of such a luxury) is mouse proof.

2. Start stocking up on basic supplies that can be stored long term.  This includes toilet rolls!

3. Think about food supplies that you might want to consider having on hand as winter closes in - soups, long life milk.... Don't bother with soya mince unless you're a Veggie, it's really not worth it, and make sure you like the soup flavours - for some reason we have supplies of mushroom soup which I hate.

4. If you only have electric in your house, think about alternative sources of heat and light.  If you have a gas hob can it be ignited without electricity?  Remember the freezer can stay cold for many hours if you don't open it and if you have the space popping in a few 2L pop bottles part filled with water will help keep it colder longer.  Power cuts are probably one of the simplest consequences of bad weather to prepare for!

 5. Ensure the oil tank is topped up & fire wood ready - anyone would think we lived in the middle of nowhere!  Its cheaper to buy it now than to wait until it gets cold and the law of supply and demand kicks in.

6. Place snow shovels and grit where they are easily accessible - Last year husband woke up early most mornings and could be found out on the lane shovelling snow and gritting our lane, much to the amusement and gratitude of the neighbours.

7. Check all fluid levels in your car, and buy up extra screen wash (with anti-freeze!) while it's cheapYou may also want to brush up on the basics of how to drive in slippery conditions.  I remember one year in London watching a Jag struggle up a hill only to slide back down it again moments later.  It's also a great time to go to the local Land Rover dealership and ask to test drive a Land Rover Defender - It's great fun!

8. Keep blanket(s), a torch, some snacks, bottled water in your car in case you get stuck - oh, and some kitty litter.  Apparently this serves the dual purpose of providing grit / traction should you need it and is useful should you require the necessary; personally I'd keep one of those little Potette potties too...

9. Make sure you have yourself a hat... Doesn't have to be a woolly one, in fact a brim is useful in the snow.

10. Waterproof gloves or over mittens are very useful for snowman building activities - especially if the kids are off school on a Snow Day.  Don't just get some for the kids, chances are you'll be helping.  A set of salopettes and thick socks (a size too large to fit over a second inner set) for welly boots also won't go amiss.

Of course, a lot of this assumes you have room for extra quantities of supplies and equipment, but how can we moan that the council haven't stored enough grit supplies if we aren't taking some precautions ourselves?

How did you fair last winter?  Do you have any other suggestions for surviving the extreme weather, or for those in London an inch of snow, and the resulting halt of all civilisation in the UK?


  1. Nic, like your organisation. I don't have enough good for next week, let alone in the depths of winter! Of you have time to organise me too that would be great. Keeping writing. R x

  2. Thank you for the encouragement! A lot of the preparation is down to G! We just buy a couple of extra bits when we go shopping, and it soon mounts up. I'm sure you'll be fine.

  3. Orli, Just Breathe9 October 2013 at 14:41

    Now that's what being organised is all about! And I though I was being overly prepared when I started buying Christmas stuff last week! (but then here in the shoe-box we call home in London we don't have a cellar, or a place to store any extras...) THe snow pics looks like a great fun though :)

  4. The snow was amaziing last year - this was taken on a School Closure Snow Day. I was anxious what I'd do with the kids, but Husband couldn't go to work either, so he stayed home with Miss C, and I, heavily pregnant, headed out with the older ones to go sledging. Almost got stuck in a snow drift when I decided to make a snow angel on the verge! We are lucky to have somewhere to store all the supplies - but then we are more likely to get stranded than you!

  5. Wow certainly looks like you get a good helping of snow, but this are all very helpful and valid tips. Thanks for sharing. Sometimes its good to be paranoid... says me 'paranoid paula' lol. I hope you all have a safe happy winter.

  6. We were ok last winter, it was 2010 when we got snowed in. My son was only 6 months so it wasn't safe to take him out as we live on a hill which isn't gritted.

    I am slightly concerned with the snow forecast for November as I am 5 months pregnant and have a habit of falling on my bottom in the snow. So will be stocking up on tinned food tomorrow.

    Thank you for linking up with the Weekend Blog Hop

    Laura x x

  7. Paranoia is definitely useful at times! The snow is great fun but can definitely be inconvenient if you're not prepared!

  8. Could be interesting, couldn't it? I was heavily pregnant in the snow in the picture but I had more trouble when it was just icy. Good luck!

  9. We wore ourselves silly getting the house prepared for winter (cleaning the roof and gutters, checking the attic for leaks, having the furnace repaired, etc.), but it all seems worth it when winter finally came. Now we don’t have to worry about anything and just weather away the season. Well, except for shoveling every other day to get the car out of the garage, that is. – Missie

  10. Well done. It's so reassuring knowing that you are ready isn't it? I keep seeing little piles of grit in our country lanes and I'm glad to see other people are getting ready too.


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