Ok, it isn't a SHTF situation but how are you prepped for snow?(26 Posts)
In what I hope is the unlikely event of power out, I have the means to have light and heat (not brilliant but better than nothing if electricity and gas go) I have family to go to which might be a trek but we have stout walking gear and a cheapo sled for dd and or overnight stuff.
At a pinch, we can boil water and heat food on a camping stove - mindful of ventilation.
Above anything, dd wants to have fun in the snow!
What about you?
I used to live in Russia so it is rarely that bad here by comparison- but UK less geared up for it.
I don't prepare for it, because we simply don't get enough snow (or any weather) to cause an issue in this part of SE England.
If I lived in northernmost Scotland or somewhere I'd have a whale of a time prepping.
There doesn't need to be a SHTF situation, though. 'Prepping' is just about being halfway ready for something. Having thought about the implications.
You sound as if you have.
Our power was out for 5 hours on Sunday, we live in a rural village so couldn’t really safely drive anywhere and barely had food in the house. (And electric hobs😩). With a toddler and being pregnant it definitely made me think that we need some small prep box or something. Thankfully power came back just as it was getting dark.
I’m thinking camping stove, some tinned food, snacks, candles and large torch? Any suggestions?
I think camping gear is a good way to look at it. Hot water bottles for heat (boiled water) , torches, pref wind up, for light. If you use an old 4 litre milk bottle and wrap a head torch on it with light facing inwards you get quite a lot of glow - like a lantern.
If you are going to light a camping stove indoors, please think about ventilation and fire safety- or do it outside under a brolly / use a bbq?
Think of emergency food that suits you.
There's a really good app by the British Red Cross called Emergency with checklists for various scenarios.
Your freezer should last 12 hours but you might want to have a cooler bag
I have no camping gear at all (live in a time flat) but we all have hiking boots, layers, big thick warm coats, blankets and hot water bottles etc.
Prepping for any kind of emergency is my goal for 2018. Need to get organized and store things correctly.
we lose power quite a few times a year on average, three times since Autumn this year so far.
We are pretty high up and rural so regularly get a lot of snow (if you can see snow 'on the hills' we will have it)
Its pretty much part of life for us, I'm not too bothered about using a camping stove inside as its realistically no different to using a gas cooker and the kitchen is well ventilated. We have a wood fuelled Rayburn though which heats and cooks if we need to put it on (we don't use it unless we have to as its a pain).
There are candles and torches in most rooms. We also have paraffin lanterns but they only tend to get used if the power cut lasts into the evening.
We are mainly heated by wood burning stoves and a back boiler anyway. We have a couple of generators outside for any electricity that might be needed outside, and a blow torch which is surprisingly handy.
TBH its rare we are completely stuck, by the nature of where we live we have access to 4x4 vehicles as standard so we can usually get to the village 4 miles away, which is usually kept fairly well gritted.
We have a large chest freezer in an outhouse outside with bits and pieces in but mainly bread, sausages etc for us and colostrum for sheep/calving cows.
We have all the usual tins, dried pasta etc, but actually most of the time we end up eating baked beans/ soup/ pot noodles and cheese sandwiches. The lifesavers have usually been chocolate, UHT milk for coffees and ready mixed baby milk. If the lights start flickering the first thing I do is boil the kettle to fill a flask so that we have hot water for baby bottles.
We don't get any mobile phone signal here so if the power goes off we cant ring anyone or use the internet. We have to drive about a mile before we get a phone signal to check on the electricity company website the status of what is happening.
Wood fuelled Rayburns are The Business. (As long as you have decent dry wood and have attended to your chimney/outlet pipes on a fairly regular basis.) I envy you.
I keep my little 1 ring gas canister stove for camping in the garden shed all winter, and my supply of gas canisters - just in case (most of the camping gear is in a storage unit about 10 minutes away by car). But as a neighbourhood, we have done communal BBQs using 3 gas BBQs on the green out the front as fun events in the snow in previous years. So I try to make sure I have some gas in the BBQ as well at the end of the summer season.
I recently also bought a Kelly kettle - so I can heat water and cook using a tiny fire (just sticks - from under the trees around the green if necessary). My inclination is to boil up the water and decant into a thermos, until all 3 of my thermos' are full first, and then heat water for my tea or whatever after that. To make the best of the fire.
Tinned food that can also be eaten cold is great. Like tuna or sweetcorn. Tined soup to quickly heat is also great. Or dried noodles that need very little cooking (sometimes just boiling water) or stuff like couscous. Some are specialist camping things - but things like Koka noodles (other brands are available) or Knorr do carbonara or mashed potato with bacon in tubs just needing rehydration etc. Some microwave meals could also work with just some boiling water instead - like Uncle Bens curry pots or Dolmio pasta pots (the kind with the sauce attached to the pot of rice/pasta).
Try not to open the fridge/freezer often if the power is out. If you have any idea it might happen, freeze any iceblocks you have to help keep the fridge cold. Or to put into a freezer bag along with a couple of high usage items, like milk, butter, juice, cheese, cooked meat etc- that can take less cold but you might want to get out a lot.
If you know this morning that tomorrow night you will cook chicken for dinner and it's frozen, take it out this morning and defrost in the fridge to do it slowly and help keep the fridge cold. Cutting meat etc into small pieces will help it cook quicker when you have limited resources for fuel (or are cooking outdoors!). If you have them, use quick cook pasta/rice, or chop potatoes into small pieces, to shorten cooking time also.
If you have an open fire, or a wood burning stove, make sure you clean it out to burn cleanly and get in enough fuel ahead of bad weather. And any ignition you need (do you normally use firelighters or sticks? Do you have enough matches?). And try to keep it lighting so that the background heat is kept in the house - it's far harder to reheat from cold than it is to maintain heat so keeping a small fire going all the time may feel wasteful but often isn't especially in very cold weather.
Try to heat the immersion if there is a big storm or bad snow coming - especially if you don't have a back boiler to heat it from a fire/stove.
If you have blankets and throws, get them out for when you are sitting around. And also spare gloves and hats for playing outside - a pair of rubber gloves over woolen ones, or ski gloves, are great for DCs playing a lot - but otherwise have a few spare pairs for when hands get wet and cold to dry out 1 pair indoors while they are playing again outdoors in another. And the same for hats.
Adults love a hot cup of tea when they come indoors. We have often given hot squash (orange or blackcurrant squash made using hot water instead of cold) in bad weather and it is much-loved! Hot chocolate is also great - but many are made on hot milk. Some of the cheaper brands have milk powder in them, so are made up using hot water - in Cubs we use the Lidl version, making it up on hot water but adding cold milk to it to cool it and add milkiness too, and the Cubs really like it once there's enough chocolate in it (it does take a lot of powder).
I have a solar powered light, that is handy for times like that. Wind up torches and battery torches. I also find that having a few nightlights lit in the sitting room (safely in proper holders) can also help to heat up the room as well as giving light, and I have a couple of pillar candles that I put in lanterns so they can sit in the kitchen, as well as a collection of 3 "dinner candles" on the dining table in their holders.
But I also close off any rooms that we are not using. So in the daytime, the doors are closed to all the bedrooms and we all congregate downstairs with the fire lit. I will close the doors to the hall - but probably keep them open between the sitting room and kitchen/diner/playroom if there is enough heat (if the heating is off and I am low on wood, we'd probably keep to a single room). And when we go to bed at night, we bring hot water bottles and close off every room to keep the heat in overnight.
And have lots of board games, books and a pack of cards to stave off boredom if the power is gone. (Although I would quite happily just knit or hand-sew, the rest of the family would not do that!).
I just realized I short-cutted a few bits from my brain to my typing fingers.
Hot squash or hot choc made on water are ideas for warming and cheering up cold and wet DCs (as they probably won't drink tea).
The iceblock in a freezer bag is so that you reduce the number of times you open the fridge, and keep the fridge things colder for longer.
Heating the immersion is so that you have hot water even if the power/heating goes off. Or at least, water that is not freezing cold so it takes a lot less energy to reheat.
Often, its as much knowing the reasons why you do certain things (and thinking about how you might need to adapt what you do in your own circumstances but with the underlying reason in mind) is what is important - not just what you do.
The other thing is to remember to dress in layers. You trap more air near your body that will warm up and keep you warm that way, and it's easier to take off/add a layer as needed to react to changes in temps etc, if they are thin ones rather than thick ones.
Including "cheering people up" is really important in prepping. Planning how to make a hot drink when it's cold is a great idea. Particularly for children.
This might be useful for people to see again, with the weather forecasts for next week looking pretty bad across the UK and Ireland....
Nice one! Hot water bottles at the ready, everyone. Please pop on this thread if you need some advice about the cold and you can't find advice nearer to hand.
snow watch thread for people to keep an eye on the weather situation.
Can I urge everyone to make sure that outdoor taps are turned off and that any outdoor pipes are lagged. There may well be a few days in a row where the temperature doesn't go above 0. Lots of people are out of practise with properly cold weather.
Yes. I had an outside tap fail in the early hours, once. It truly wasn't fun.
I'm literally just going out to stick some foam pipe insulators over my taps since I hadn't thought about it. Snow looks set in here and thermometer is reading -3
Lagged my outdoor tap/pipe thanks to advice on here. I'm such a prepping smart arse that I completely forgot
I am currently in the red zone. I have shut off all unused rooms and closed curtains to retain heat. I am keeping the house as warm as possible in case of power outage. Hopefully we can retain the warmth!
This morning I did an emergency shop, extra milk and bread in case we can’t get out tomorrow. Also a shed load of biscuits and hot cross buns
Put out extra fat for the birds and squirrels. Hoping they are bright enough to eat the snow for water!?
Have candles ready, but not as many as I would have liked. Silly error on my behalf.
We are hunkered down and prepped for the worst I think.
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