We have snow in the forecast this week. Some of you have already had snow, but there's plenty more to come. Even here in Oklahoma we can have a blizzard or two, and ice storms are a given.
Both snow and ice impact our homestead though. We have livestock to keep warm and fed. So when there's a storm in the forecast, I go into super-preparedness mode.
How to prepare for winter storms
Make sure you have:
- enough food to last at least a week (we check the "power's out" kit in case we need to replace things)
- livestock feed
- dog and/or cat food
- bottled water
- batteries for flashlights and weather radio
- fuel for your heat source and, if you have one, the generator
- lamp oil if you have oil lamps
While you're in town, top off your gas tank.
At home, do the following:
- move hay and feed to a dry place that's easy for you to access during storms
- move snow shovels inside the garage or mudroom where you can reach them easily
- gather water containers that you can use to haul water to livestock, keep indoors or in garage
- fill containers (such as empty canning jars and cleaned-out juice bottles) with water for drinking
- gather the components for a straw box cooker and keep in the house or garage
- provide fresh, clean bedding for animals and poultry
- fill feeders and water troughs
- I stash a small sledge hammer under the horses' trough so I can break the ice
- cook something! I like to put a hearty meal in the crockpot, and bake bread before the storm hits
- do the dishes and laundry. If the power goes out, you'll have clean dishes and clothes.
- charge cell phones (if needed, you can recharge them with a car charger later on)
- keep your weather radio, flashlights, candles and matches, and other items in a convenient place
I keep an notebook and pen handy so that I can journal about the storm, what we did, what worked and what didn't, and what I've learned from the storm. I reread these notes each winter and especially when storms are predicted. For instance, I've learned from experience that I need to shovel snow away from gates often during a storm so that I can open the gates and tend to the livestock. I had to climb fences after one storm!
My hope is to inspire you, and to encourage your homesteading plans and your dreams of a simple, self-reliant, God-dependent life. You can follow me at:
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