Today marks the last day of July, which means winter is coming.
Wait, what? But…don’t we still have August left? And what happened to September and October?
Alright, you caught me. Those months are still on the calendar, and we can get really nice weather those months (fall weather is amazing, after all). But the truth is, winter is coming, and while it may still be a few months off, it is wise to start preparing for it now.
As is the case with most severe weather, we sometimes wait until the storm is looming ominously before us before we run to the store and grab some necessities. While this works sometimes, other times it can leave us without the essentials we need. This is one reason why it is best to be prepared well in advance. And, some things are just easier to prepare for while the weather is still nice. If you wait until it’s cold and snowy, some things may be harder to accomplish (not to mention that’s when everyone else starts getting ready, too, so prices may go up and contractor availability may be hard to find).
Without further ado, here are some ways to prepare for winter…in the summer.
Winterize Your Home
Winterizing your home is one of the best things you can do to prepare for winter in the summer. Make sure you have sufficient insulation in your home, and most especially in the attic. Hot air rises (at least that’s what my science teachers always said), so if your attic is poorly insulated, that hot air will escape through there.
Caulking the drafty areas around windows and doors will also keep that warm, inside air from escaping (and thus saving you all kinds of money). Weather stripping is another good idea for the gaps in doors and windows, too.
Other things you can do to prepare for winter is cleaning out your furnace, replace air filters, and have that chimney cleaned out.
Prepare Your Car
The first really cold or snowy day of winter usually has me searching for my ice scraper. It’s usually hidden somewhere that I can’t remember since I haven’t had to use it all spring, summer, or fall. Before the cold temperatures come, gather together the essentials that you’ll need in one location, so when the frost does come you can easily find it again.
Summertime is also a good time to stock up on needed supplies and tools for your car, and even a car emergency kit (more on that in a second). Consider replenishing and updating your first aid or emergency kit. Get a shovel for your trunk (the 4-in-1 Mini Folding Shovel even fits in your glove compartment).
Build Your Emergency Kit
Emergency kits are lifesavers. There are certain things you should have in your winter emergency kits, including items that provide warmth, alternate power, and of course, water and food. Build a 72-hour kit before the storm comes, because once it does, you may not be able to get out. Let me illustrate that with an almost-personal example.
A number of years ago before we were married, my wife was trapped in her home with her family during a huge ice storm. They couldn’t leave for days because of the slick roads. The power was down and heat was at a premium. Fortunately, they already had what they needed. If they had waited…I can’t imagine how unpleasant that experience would have been. Instead, when she talks about it, she talks as if it were all some grand adventure. Which I’m sure it was, since they were prepared.
For your vehicle, consider keeping sand (for traction), a shovel, extra blankets, hats, gloves, and other warm clothing, and some emergency food and water rations. Bright colored flags or signs will also help people see you should you get stuck or stranded in a blizzard.
For your home, the same things should be kept, as well as rock salt for melting ice on walkways. You will most likely be able to have more supplies on hand, since your home is a bit bigger than your car’s trunk, so use it! Plan ahead, and when the storms come, you’ll be ready and you’ll also be able to think of it as a grand adventure rather than a stressful, how-will-we-manage type experience.
While there are plenty of other things you can do to prepare for winter, it really depends upon you, your home and vehicle, and your individual needs. The important thing for you to remember is to prepare for winter. Sure, it’s still super hot outside, but that’s the point of preparing. If you put it off, you may have an unpleasant first storm. If not…well, the snowmen are waiting to be built!
How do you prepare for winter in the summer?