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You need to prepare for this winter more than usual since it is getting colder already. In the Northern Hemisphere, temperatures are at a record low in some countries, including the UK and USA. For some people, this is the coldest they have ever experienced, and it can be shocking just how hard it can be. Preparation against illness and power cuts are just two examples.
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It can be challenging to begin prepping for winter, and your family may have to learn what to do as well. However, the tasks you need to do will mean the difference between getting through it as well as possible or suffering. Here are some suggestions for preparing for winter problems.
The Home Will Take a Battering
The weather can be harsh in the mildest of winters, and the home can take a bit of a battering. But the home is the main barrier between you and your family and the threatening outside. Cold temperatures are only the beginning, and this alone, such as freezing pipes, can cause chaos in a home. But preparing the home using a roofing inspection service before the worst hits will help provide some extra protection in case the worst happens. And that’s the dreaded roof damage.
Roof damage is a nightmare in the summer. Can you imagine what it could mean in the dead of winter? Snow, rain, and cold would seep in from all corners of the roof and cause chaos with your heating efficiency. It can also cause problems with water drainage and block pipes or effluent. And then there’s the chance of a cave-in. The damage this would cause would cost a lot of money and time to repair, as well as the possibility of injuring someone in your household.
Illnesses are Still Doing the Rounds
With winter comes illness. We all know this. Illnesses typically start around late fall and continue through to spring. COVID is still around, yet the common flu alone has already caused over 6,500 deaths this season in the US alone. Fortunately, some simple rules are a big help:
- Sneeze and cough into tissues, dispose of them, and wash your hands.
- Thoroughly clean cups, dinner plates, and cutlery in 90° antibacterial water.
- Stay hydrated and keep cooking healthy foods rich in vitamins and minerals.
- Stock up on vitamins and minerals to help fight off common cold and flu illnesses.
- See the doctor for vaccinations and booster jabs to help prevent colds, flu, and COVID.
You can’t guarantee that you or someone in your household won’t get a cold or flu. But by sticking to these simple guidelines, the chances are greatly reduced that you may either catch them or spread them. Containment and personal care, and hygiene are pretty much all it takes.
Prepare for this Winter and It’s Food Shortages
This isn’t guaranteed, but there is often the chance that food will be limited. When there has been a particularly bad summer and fall, alongside a harsh winter, food can reduce in numbers as crops aren’t grown in enough quantities. Supply chain problems can also arise from bad weather, causing delays in groceries and other food products that you usually buy easily from the store. No one hopes there will be a food shortage, but it helps to stock up just in case.
Stocking up is always a good idea. However, it helps to remember that your family isn’t the only one in town. By getting too much (as others may do, too), you could inadvertently contribute to a local food shortage. A simple way around this is to prepare for winter early. Buy some extra food when you do your standard shopping and place it in storage. This way, you aren’t taking large amounts of food from the shelves that could go to other families who need it more than yours.
It Will be Colder than Usual
In a strange paradox, global warming is believed to cause colder winters. There is too much data to go into here but be prepared for the temperatures to be a bit lower than usual. Even a couple of degrees can make a massive difference to how cold or hot you can feel. So, here are some ideas for staying warm while at home and not straining the heating systems too much:
- Reduce furnace strain with an electric space heater in the morning.
- Let the sunlight into the home when it is shining bright to capture the heat.
- Don’t turn up the thermostat when it’s cold if it struggles to heat a room.
- Wear comfortable layers of thin and thick clothing to keep warm air trapped.
- Draught-proof the home with cheap and effective door sweepers.
- Put aside some extra money in anticipation of a higher heating bill.
- Heat the human and not the home with electric blankets and thermal clothing.
- Acclimate to a lower temperature that your heating system can reach more easily.
- Invest in new wall and attic insulation if the insulation is older than 20 years.
Heating systems get strained when the temperature dips to between -1°C and 2°C. This means it struggles to heat the home to the set temperature on the thermostat. Don’t turn up this setting, as it won’t reach it. It will just cost more money trying to heat the home past a temperature it cannot reach. Instead, heat yourself with some products designed to keep you warm personally.
There May be Product Shortages, Too
Further to products, there will almost definitely be shortages of certain ones. Heating products might run out as people look for alternatives to using the HVAC or furnace, which costs a lot to run these days for some families. Like with food, you can stock these early and buy only what you need. Heating products aside, there are other essentials that often run out and can cause chaos when this happens. Do you remember the toilet tissue panic of the COVID pandemic?
Of course, toilet roll is vital for hygiene. But you will also need products for maintaining your home’s flush system. Bleach comes to mind. But make sure you also buy pipe insulation before it sells out in the winter. This will contribute to keeping the home warm and may prevent ice blockages. Other products to consider include anything baby-related, such as food and diapers. However, consider any medication and other medical supplies you will need during the winter.
Power Cuts are Common in Winter
The inconvenience of a power cut is very stressful since most of us need power for basic things and especially work. And winter comes with more than usual in the US. Just recently, a huge storm affected the power of over 800,000 homes on the East Coast. So, here are some ideas:
- Have spare phones charged with emergency service numbers stored inside.
- Install charged power banks in case you need to keep phones going for longer.
- Stock up on water, charged heating devices, and canned food with a long life.
- Have a good supply of LED flashlights and batteries nearby for lighting.
- Make a family plan of what to do and where to go when the power does go out.
It may not be possible to charge your personal phone during a power cut, so always have a spare one for emergencies. A power cut can last for several days, so food and water are vital. And everyone needs to know their role and how to act when the power goes out in winter.
Crime Gets Higher with Desperation
Finally, one of the worst problems in winter is crime. Because of many of the issues mentioned above, people can become desperate. And that can also make them unpredictable. Crime increases when there are shortages of food and water or people can’t live as comfortably as they usually would. A father will do anything to feed his children during times like these and may resort to violence. So, you need to be prepared for a rise in crime rates when out and about.
It’s sad but true that people can behave pretty badly when stressed into a desperate position. It is human nature, and you can’t stop it. However, preparation is key to getting through this. Make sure you have what you need, and don’t tell anyone about it. The last thing you want is neighbors trying to steal your stuff. It would also help to install some extra security for safety during a power cut or severe weather. And personal protection will help as a last resort.
Your house can take a beating during strong storms and weather, which is why you need to prepare for this winter and what comes with it. Of course, colder weather comes with it, and it seems to be getting colder each year. Managing your home’s heating is a massive help. However, other issues such as power cuts and severe weather also bring other issues. Stocking up on food, water, and supplies will help you, but be aware that crime rates can also increase.