Friday, October 20, 2023

Winter Preps For 2023/24

By Tim Gamble

Winter 2023/24 is here, and with it comes winter's own set of preparedness concerns. Here my annual quick look at winter preps.

Prepare Your Vehicle for Winter
  • Inspect your tires and make sure they are in good shape.
  • Don't forget to inspect your spare tire! Make sure you have all the tools you need to change a flat tire. 
  • Inspect your wiper blades. Change them if needed.
  • Make sure the anti-freeze level is appropriate for your location (a local mechanic can help you with that if you don't know).
  • Inspect/test your battery, especially if it is more than four years old.
  • Check all fluids and catch up on any routine maintenance to prevent breakdowns (see my article Prepper Auto Maintenance Schedule).  

Make sure you have an emergency kit in your vehicle
, including items such as some food and water, first aid kit, flashlight, extra batteries, extra motor oil, and jumper cables or battery starter. For winter, include extra gloves and head/neck coverings (such as a wool toboggan or a full Balaclava). A warm blanket is also a good idea, as is a way to recharge your cell your phone.

Many folks get the shortest jumper cables possible in order to save a couple of bucks (if they have jumper cables at all). However, its not always possible to park both vehicles that close together. Jumper cables are not that expensive, so go ahead an spend a few extra bucks to get a set that will be long enough to actually be useful. I have a 16-foot set of jumper cables in both my vehicles. 

Winter First Aid

Winter has its own set of first aid concerns, I highly recommend you review the article I posted a couple of days ago on Winter First Aid. In it, I discuss The Anatomy of Body Heat (and how to maintain your core temperature), the Symptoms & Treatment of both Frostnip and Frostbite, Hypothermia Signs and Treatment, First Aid Courses and a handbook recommendation.  

Other Winter Survival Tips
  • Inspect/clean your chimney and wood stove pipes.
  • If you use firewood, make sure you have enough to last you all winter.
  • Don't let fallen leaves pile up against your home (fire hazard).
  • Clean out gutters after the leaves stop falling (safety issue).
  • Turn off and/or cover outside faucets and watering systems.
  • Make sure your home food and water storage are topped off in case winter storms leave you homebound for a period of time. Same goes for any medications you take.
  • Stock up now on OTC medications for Cold and Flu season.
  • Keep your gas tank topped off. Running out-of-gas is not a good idea in freezing weather.
  • Update your bug-out bag for winter: include dry socks & underwear, gloves, head/neck coverings, poncho, emergency or reflector blanket, and make sure you have plenty of matches, lighters, and/or fire starters. 
  • cold weather sleeping bag/system is highly recommended for winter months. 

Special Considerations for Winter 2023/2024

Wars, pandemics (real or fake), supply chain problems, higher gas and energy prices, high food inflation, massive illegal immigration, rising crime, underfunded and understaffed police departments - the list of problems we are already experiencing is quite long. These problems will not only continue, but likely will get worse over the course of this winter. In fact, things could get much worse this winter. 

>>> Food needs to be a top priority. As many others are saying, "stock food to the rafters." Food is most likely going to increase in price this winter, and grocery store shelves could get bare once again should any of the wars we're facing spin out-of-control. A true World War is a distinct possibility. Buy now. Same goes for other types of supplies you use regularly: cleaning supplies, personal hygiene supplies, paper goods, OTC medications, vitamins and supplements, batteries, and even shoes and clothes. 

>>> Think about security. Crime, including violent crime, is rising across the country. Police departments are underfunded and understaffed. Woke District Attorneys across the country are incredibly soft on crime. And the ongoing influx of illegal immigrants and unvetted "refuges" will only make matters worse. The new reality is that you have to be responsible for your own security and that of your family. 

Get your concealed-carry permit if it is legal in your area, and carry! Take a good self-defense shooting course (shooting under stress at a moving target that shoots back at you is vastly different from leisurely shooting a fixed target at the gun range). Your local gun shop should be able to tell you where to get training. I also suggest most people double or even triple the amount of ammo you have on-hand, as ammo is already getting hard to get.

Everyone in your family or group, regardless of their age, should also take a non-lethal self-defense course. A good self-defense course won't just cover the physical aspects of self-defense, but also give tips and advice on avoiding dangerous situations in the first place.

Security isn't just about guns & ammo, but also about hardening your home, security doors, dead-bolt locks, exterior home lighting, avoiding bad areas of town, practicing situational awareness, exercising commonsense, and many other things less exciting, yet probably more important, than guns.  

-------------------- Mini Farming Bible: The Complete Guide to Self-Sufficiency on ¼ Acre - This book, by Brett Markham, contains detailed information on: Composting, Seed Starting, Pest and disease control, Selecting and saving seed, Raising chicken for eggs and raising chicken for meat, Cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, parsnips, and other veggies, Weed control, and much more, all geared towards urbanites and suburbanites with small yards of ¼ acre or less!   

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