Every fall, Americans across the country gain an extra hour each day when they “fall back” and reset their clocks one hour later with the end of Daylight Savings Time.
Our family enjoyed that extra hour of sleep, especially since the temperatures outside have turned chilly and those warm, cozy blankets had us wrapped in Dreamland, not wanting to wake or get out of bed!
Whenever Daylight Savings Time rears its ugly head (I am no fan of this insane plan to “gain” an hour), I assign the kids to go around the house and change all clocks, watches, and then the clocks in our vehicles. That Daylight Savings Time day is the perfect time to review all our preps and get ready for cold weather.
Something else we do is prepare for winter power outages. Since the days are so much shorter, the chances of sitting around in a cold and very dark house are a lot greater. Sources of light is very important, both for practical reasons and for comfort. The light source I recommend for each room is a Luci solar lantern.
This handy lantern charges quickly by whatever light happens to be in a room. Sometimes I set it near a window to charge and other times, it charges just from the ambient light around it. The lantern is inflatable and, therefore, collapses to a very small size. This is handy because I want the lantern to be in bedside tables and in handy spots in our living room, family room, and kitchen. During Hurricane Harvey, this is the lantern that provided a great source of light for reading and taking care of household chores. Read more about the Luci Solar Lantern here.
Besides changing the clocks and making sure each room has an emergency light source, DST is also a reminder to double-check preps for cooler weather.
Prepping for the winter
- Unpack all emergency kits/Bug Out Bags. Check for stale food, leaks in containers, clothing, and shoes that no longer fit. If you’ve discovered a new “must-have” for your kit, now is the time to add it.
- Repack all emergency kits and bags for the winter. Include hand and foot warmers, gloves, wool caps, extra wool socks, long johns (my silk long johns have lasted at least 2 decades and still keep me warm), a small emergency stove/heater.
- Educate yourself about staying warm. Learn how to triple your warmth!
- While you’re at it, take a look at the emergency kit/supplies you keep in your car. For the winter you may need to add an ice scraper and brush, a sturdy snow shovel, a box of kitty litter. Throw a pair of waterproof boots in the trunk. Roll up a couple of wool blankets and store them under the back seats.
- Add an immersion heater to every vehicle emergency kit. This one item alone, powered by your car battery, will allow you to melt snow to have a water source, heat up water to add to things like hot chocolate mix or soup mix, and have warm water for sanitation. This article goes into greater detail for assembling your own Winter Survival Food Kit.
- This article includes many details for prepping your car for breakdowns and being stranded in winter weather.
- Test your generator and make sure you have enough fuel to last at least 2-3 weeks. If you are looking to add one to your preparedness gear, learn how to buy your first generator and assess whether or not you need one in this Survival Mom course, “Home Generator Smarts”.
- Hit a few thrift stores or yard sales and buy extra blankets. They have so many uses during the winter, aside from the obvious. Here are all the different ways I put blankets to work, especially in the winter!
- Very cold weather will likely freeze any emergency water containers in your vehicles. This article gives a few tips for working around that.
- In a power outage, how would you cook a meal? This week, track down any and all off-grid stoves, whether a solar oven, a gas grill, a hibachi, or DIY rocket stove and make sure you have the fuel necessary to cook a few meals in an emergency.
- Equip your kids’ coat pockets with hand and foot warmers and, for signaling, LED flashlights and whistles. Get hand warmers here!
- Review your kids and grandkids winter-readiness, overall. Do they know what to do if they get lost in the snow or caught in a chilly rainstorm? Do they know how to signal for help? Answers to these questions and more are in this article, “Everything You Need to Know About Winter Survival for Kids“.
- Think about a cold-weather scenario that might strand you or a family member at the workplace, and put together a workplace emergency kit.
What do you do to prepare for winter weather?
This article was updated.