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Winter is nearly here for most of us and already for a few of us in the United States so what can you do to be prepared for bad weather? There are quite a few things you can do to save energy, keep warm, and just generally be prepared. I will name a few of them in this article.

Stock Up

One thing that we all can do is stock up our pantries. Make sure you have a few days to a week’s worth of extra food including food that does not have to be cooked in the event of a power outage.

Potted meats and canned fruits are a good thing to have around since they have a long shelf life. Ginger Snap cookies are a good one to have because ginger helps to warm up the body from the inside. If you lose power you can always take your frozen items out and put them in the snow to stay frozen.

You will want some bottled water too since your body can only survive a few days without water. If you run out of water you can always melt snow using matches or your alternative heat source.

Another step you need to take is to have flashlights and batteries on hand so that you can see around your dark house when the power goes out. There is no reason to burn your house down with candles during the bad weather but if you have nothing else to use be sure to set the candle in a bowl or on a small plate with water to help reduce the risk and never go to sleep with the candles burning.

Alternative Heat Source

Blankets and multilayered clothing will help you not to freeze but it won’t do it all. You should keep a blanket in your car as well. If you are fortunate enough to have a fireplace you can keep yourself and your family warm that way. Be sure in that event to have matches or a lighter to get your fire going.

When desperate you may even be able to cook over your fire. If you do not have a fireplace or even if you do and want heat for other rooms you can use a kerosene heater. You want to make sure you already have your heat source available and ready before the storm arrives.

I am sure you have heard the saying there is no time like the present. You want to be as safe as possible, after all, that is why you are preparing early for the winter.

Applying plastic over your windows will help to keep out winter drafts and you will probably do good to have extra plastic and some duct tape in case a tree falls thru your ceiling and you need to temporarily close up the hole.

Remember an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. You should also use this preparation time to insulate your pipes so that they will not freeze or at least are less likely to. You should check your ductwork and make sure all pipes are connected and use metal-backed tape to seal up gaps. You would be amazed how this little tip can save you money and keep you warmer.

Most people do not think about reversing the direction on their ceiling fans but this will help to push the warm air down to you instead of it all being on the ceiling. You can also purchase outlet insulation covers at your local Walmart for only a few dollars and stop the drafts that come in around your electrical outlets and wall switches.

They say you can save as much as 20% on energy costs with them. If you have lost power during the storm or even if you haven’t and just want to warm one room you can hang heavy blankets in the doorways to block off the other part of the house and keep your heat localized. Be safe and prepared and you should have a good winter.