6 cold winter preparations you probably forgot
For the majority of the world, winter is right around the corner and in some areas, the cold of winter has already arrived. Are you prepared for winter, or do you still have preparations to make?
Even if you think you’re done with winter prep, make sure you don’t skip these six things.
1. Early pest prevention
If you don’t get a head start with pest control in the winter, you could end up with a huge pest problem in the spring. For example, people in Philadelphia, PA routinely thwart spotted lantern fly invasions in the winter by destroying eggs, removing infected trees, and installing nets around trees that remain.
The steps you need to take to prevent a pest infestation will be specific to the threats in your area and your preferences. For instance, most people dealing with a lantern fly invasion would call a pest control service in Philadelphia, but for prevention purposes, many prefer using a natural vinegar solution. If you prefer using natural methods, make sure you stock up on enough vinegar before winter hits. While most stores will be open, you might not want to drive in a snowstorm at the last minute.
2. Move your firewood off the ground
There are a couple of critical reasons to get your firewood off the ground: it will rot from the moisture and firewood doesn’t season properly when it’s directly on the ground. Technically, only one layer of wood is on the ground, but if you’re dealing with a full cord, that’s a waste of wood. If you plan on using your bottom layer of wood at some point, it should be lifted off the dirt.
You can get a pre-built 8-foot log rack with a cover for about $100, give or take. Or, you can get some log rack brackets, some treated 2x4s, and make your own rack in a custom size for less. However, you’ll still need a cover.
If you’re storing split firewood in a covered building, use wooden pallets to keep it off the ground. If you’ve got green rounds lying around that have yet to be split, make sure to move those off the ground as well. Even if you don’t plan on splitting them for a while, let them season under cover and off the dirt.
3. Have your off-grid essentials at hand
Power outages are more common during the winter, especially during wind, ice, and snowstorms. You could have all the best off-grid gear in the world, but if it’s not in place and accessible, it’s not going to help you when the power goes out.
Before winter hits, gather all of your off-grid supplies and put them in accessible places. For example, place an emergency flashlight (with fresh batteries) in each room in a familiar place you can access even in the dark. If you have a gas generator, make sure you have extra gas on hand. And last, make sure you have a camping stove with the appropriate fuel available.
4. Sweaters for your animals
Cats hate sweaters, along with some dogs. However, your fur children need to stay warm this winter. If you take your animal for walks, they need a winter sweater. Even if you don’t take your animal outside, you might need to take them to the vet and a sweater will keep them warm in the car while you wait for the vet in your car (at least until COVID-19 restrictions are lifted).
5. Roll up all of your hoses
Rolling up your garden hoses is essential before winter. You don’t want your hoses to sit out in the cold all winter. Roll up all of your hoses and if you use a well, shut off all of your spigots. Also, remove any hose splitters you’ve attached to your spigots, so they don’t break off when temperatures drop to freezing.
6. Get some WD-40
Make sure you’ve got a good supply of WD-40 for the winter. WD-40 displaces water and can be used to thwart the effects of ice on your car. Spraying it on your windshield will prevent ice from forming and spraying some in your locks before a freeze will prevent the lock mechanism from freezing. You can also open your doors and spray some WD-40 in the rubber gaskets to prevent your doors from sticking shut.
Have a safe and happy winter
Once you’ve winterized your home, relax and start enjoying the winter in front of a warm fire with a cup of hot chocolate.
Story by Darren Wilson