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We noticed Sunday afternoon the local meteorologists were predicting a Winter Storm for our area this weekend…So we started preparing. Usually though, when we prepare it’s never as bad as they say…We’ll just have to wait and see. After all, “The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it.” (Proverbs 22:3).
So, how do we go about preparing for ice and snow on the homestead?
First things first as they say…
We heat the house using the fireplace. In the 5 years that we’ve been here, we have rarely used the furnace. With the forecast saying that we’ll be getting rain, followed by a wintery mix, possible ice, several inches of snow, and plunging temperatures we cut a BUNCH of wood. Every day this week we’ve cut a wheelbarrow or two each night and brought it all into the sunroom. That way we have enough dry wood to keep the house warm in the event of a power outage and we don’t have to go outside more than absolutely necessary.
In the meantime, we’ll keep monitoring the forecast and start by preparing the inside…
We start by completing the weekly chores and making sure the dishes and laundry are caught up just in case we lose power. Power outages are never fun but are made worse by dirty dishes in the sink and piles of dirty laundry (or maybe that’s just me 🤷♀️). Our house is awful boxy so in the Winter we normally close off a couple of rooms to preserve heat. So, with the storm coming we just make sure the rooms are clean and prepare to be in them as little as possible.
Then we charge all the electronics.
The power inverter that we’ll use to run the fireplace blower and charge our phones if needed. We’ll also make sure that our individual power packs are charged and the CD player and extra batteries are dug out. That way if the power does go out we have entertainment if needed (similar products are linked below). Along with topping off all the oil lanterns and making sure we have extra lamp oil. You’d be surprised. Lighting all the oil lanterns in the living room can easily raise the temperature by a degree or two alone!
We also create a simple plan for no electric meals and snacks. Boiling some eggs, making hummus and flatbread, and a dessert or two. I mean, who couldn’t use a chocolate chip cookie in the middle of a snowstorm? For this particular storm, we also dug out a large roast from the freezer and cooked it in the crockpot. We’ll easily get 3-4 meals from it if needed.
Now, for us, a lot of this is normal. By normal I mean, if it’s rainy and cold we’ll top off all the lanterns and light them for the pleasure of it. We often cook a big roast every once in a while. We’ll eat off it for a day or two and then freeze it in two cup batches to use in soup, stroganoff, or sandwiches later. It’s just how we have done things for as long as I can remember.
Now, for the outside preparation…
Our homestead is quite small. We have chickens, bunnies, and 4 barn cats. There’s not too much to do, to be honest.
We start by running the generator and snowblower just to make sure they’re still working. Filling up extra gas cans and prepping the vehicles. As the storm draws closer we’ll go out and add extra straw to the chicken coop for warmth. Then we’ll give more straw to the bunnies and add some plastic to the sides of their hutch to keep them protected from getting wet. They’re fairly cold tolerant they just don’t like to be wet.
The Peanuts gang are currently sequestered in the shed until they get comfortable enough to come out. The hope is that this will teach them where home is and they’ll come back after their hunting expeditions. So we didn’t have much to do because they were outdoor cats prior and are already out of the wind. So we just made sure they had some extra straw added to their wooden box and we took out an old deep cardboard box with some older dog blankets and straw inside in case they wanted to get in there.
The only other thing to do is to make sure that we go out a couple of times during the day (especially if we lose power) to top off the waters and make sure they don’t freeze.
In all honesty, it’s been raining all day. Last I heard it’s supposed to change over to ice here soon but it looks like we’ll end up with more snow which is good. Our weekend plans got postponed so unless something drastically changes we’re planning a quiet restful weekend indoors…and I’m looking forward to it!
Be careful out there and stay warm!
Until next time,