With the recent cool temperatures, the winter season is not far away.  It is now time to prepare for the winter weather.   As we point out often there are many similarities between each severe weather event that takes place, for example, for all events you will need a plan, you should have your important papers and medications readily available, keeping a small amount of cash on hand for emergency purchases if the credit card systems are out, fueling your car when it goes below half a tank so it’s ready to go if necessary and maintain food supplies for several weeks.  The big thing for winter preparedness is being prepared for the cold weather.   That means practical cold-weather clothing and footwear.    When looking for outerwear think of layers so that whatever you purchase you can use other times.   An example is a rain jacket over a sweater or mid-weight jacket – add a hat and gloves and you are protected from the wind, rain, or snow and will be warm.  Each of those items can be used at other times of the year.    Same for footwear – consider a pair of 18-inch unlined rubber boots with a pair of heavy socks.   You’ll be warm and be able to walk in the snow and not get wet and then you can use the same boots in warm weather to walk in water during flooding.    More winter weather tips can be found by clicking on the BE PREPARED link at the top of this page and on the lower right-hand side of this page.     Remember when implementing your plan look for the similarities between your current plan and a plan you made previously for another event chances are you have much of the needed preparedness work already done.

With some people in the news media predicting a heating fuel shortage this winter and/or electrical shortages perhaps it’s time to start to consider looking into a backup energy source such as a generator, whether whole house or portable, and possibly solar panels and batteries.  These alternatives are costly investments however they can be used any time during the year and should be purchased only after due circumspect and planning.   Considering that the new electric meters being installed in our area allow the electric company to conduct remote disconnects to protect the electric grid, which is known in some areas as rolling blackouts, it may be time to start planning.  As with all investments only do what you can afford, even if it’s starting with a portable generator that will help you keep your food from spoiling and supply enough electricity to keep your gas heat on.     With the Internet, there are plenty of websites where you can research solar energy unfortunately the downside is there is so much information you have a hard time discerning which ones are the real facts and which ones are sales hype.  It might be better to check with neighbors who have whole house generators or solar to get ideas on cost and recommendations.