It is November and we haven’t had much snow in the Sierra’s, all least for now the drought seems to be continuing. However, the weather has been quite cold the last few days. Some things indicate that the El Nino that is occurring in the Pacific could bring heavier than normal rains to Southern California. In other parts of the country, I see strange weather patterns occurring. I really don’t know what is going to happen, but get ready for the worst and hope for the best. If you live in the northern hemisphere now is a good time to winterize your home and preps.
Here is a list to help you winterize your home and preps.
- Do you have a fireplace or wood stove? Check for obstructions in the flue. Do you have a screen and a chimney cap over the top of the chimney to keep animals and debris out?
- Clean the chimney to remove the creosote buildup. Clean the inside of a wood stove or fireplace removing ashes and creosote. Do you have the brushes and tools to clean your own chimney when help is not available?
- Inspect your stovepipes and make sure any connections are tight. Do you have extra pipe if a section fails?
- Make sure there is good clearance between combustible materials and your stove.
Cleaning Your Gutters and Roof
- Clean any accumulated leaves or dirt off your roof. This helps extend the life of your roof.
- Inspect your roof to locate any areas where shingles are missing, damaged or otherwise in need of repair. Look for signs of dry rot, chimney or vent damage and separating gutters.
- Do you have the materials you need to fix your roof? A First Aid Kit for Your Roof
- Clean leaves and debris from your gutters. Make sure the downspouts are clear of obstructions and flow freely.
Weatherproofing Your House Exterior
- Pick up any leaves and rotting vegetation close to your house. Make sure any drainage routes are clear.
- Check the areas around pipes or wires. Fill any holes or openings with expanding foam insulation or caulk.
- Check window wells by basement windows.
- If you have a wood supply, it should be separated from the house by at least 20 or 30 feet and protected from the weather. Open trash, recycling containers, and woodpiles close to you home are an invitation to rodents and pests and fires in the summer.
- Inspect your outbuildings, sheds and cellars or crawlspaces.
- Drain garden hoses and insulate exposed water pipes including sprinkler systems.
- Check your yard for tree branches that overhang your home, outbuildings or electric service. Remove dead or damaged trees and branches.
Preparing Your Windows and Doors
- Check your doors and windows for any weaknesses, cracks or other damage.
- Replace or install weather stripping around entry doors and windows.
- Put up storm windows and storm doors, if needed.
Miscellaneous things to winterize your home and preps
- Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, change the batteries if needed.
- This is a good time to consider rotating any gasoline that you have stored for more than 6 to 8 months. Check to make sure your flammable liquids are stored in a safe manner, The Safe Storage of Gasoline.
- Check any water that you have stored to be sure it won’t freeze and rupture the containers.
- Make sure that any canned foods or fresh produce you have stored are protected from the elements and will not be frozen.
- This is also a good time to check your bug out bags and make sure they are ready for winter, Bugout and Get Home Bags Need to be Updated For Winter
- Don’t forget about your vehicles, they need to be ready, Basic Car Maintenance and Winter
Now this list will vary, depending on what part of the county you live in. The whole point is that a change in the seasons is coming and we don’t know what it will bring. Winterize your home and be ready for what will occur in your area and have the necessary supplies on hand, whether it be sand bags or snow shovels.