Winter preparedness kit and hints

Winter’s coming!!

We’ve worked most of the summer and fall trying to prepare for winter.  At the first frost, the front porch is filled with firewood and covered.  We have a woodshed but once ice gets on the ground it’s a touch trek from there to the wood stove.  The animals are all provided clean, dry bedding.  All precautions are taken regarding our vehicles and farm tractors regarding anti-freeze and good tires. We also keep all of the vehicles full of gas for emergencies.   The chimney’s are cleaned of all creosote so we don’t have to worry about flu fires.  We also make sure the wood is well-seasoned to prevent flu fires.  The snow shovels are placed in an easy to get to place, usually the front porch.  We make sure there’s a couple bags of sand or kitty litter on hand for icy spots.

In the house, all of the flashlights are filled with fresh batteries.  The oil lamps are filled and wicks cleaned or replaced.   The radio’s and clocks are checked for fresh batteries.  We always prepare for electrical outages because the winds and ice can wreak havoc with power lines.  We can cook on our wood stoves that we have in the main living area and in the kitchen.  We both love cooking on the wood cook stove in the kitchen.  All of the winter clothing, gloves and boots are brought out of storage and aired out.

This post, however, is to show how we prepare for a winter storm or power outage in winter.  At the first radio/TV report of  impending bad weather, the outdoor animals are taken care of with lots of food and water and dry beds.  Then, two days worth of firewood is hauled in the house for both stoves.  Five gallon buckets are filled for use in the bathroom for flushing.  Extra pitchers and jugs are filled with fresh water for drinking and cooking.  I usually cook a couple main dishes to last for a couple days and do some baking.  There’s something about a winter storm that lights a fire  under my cooking mode!!  My neighbor used to think I was crazy but she sure enjoyed the treats I had hubby take to her during the storm.  That’s another big thing with us, we always check on our elderly neighbors and hubby usually cleans their walks and driveways though most of them would never consider getting out.

The following pictures will give you a clue as to the momentum of storms in Craig County, Virginia!!

2008 Ice Storm

January Snow 2010

December 2008

Winter 2009

Winter 2012

13 thoughts on “Winter preparedness kit and hints

  1. Ellen G.

    Rita, thank you for this post! Some things are different at our house since we live in town– city water instead of a well, gas stove, which will work without power IF we have matches on hand– but reading your post got us talking about what we need to do to get our house and ourselves ready for the winter. We are working on our kit! Thank you! –Ellen


  2. Seasonsgirl

    I remember most of those storms and the bad one in 2010… We prepare in some of the same ways as the 2010 had us in for almost a week. But you gave me some things to think about I hadn’t before. I miss that area so much as the winters are always so calming… watching the snow, warm food, etc. Thanks for sharing 🙂



    I love the winter pictures———–SNOW!  I have sweat my tail feathers off the past two days.  Right now I would lay in a snowbank!  I got my flu shot Thursdy when I was in WalMart and have been just a tad sluggish for the past few days.  I haven’t even thought of going back in the yard to continue on with the weeding as it has been so miserably hot and humid!  I have been working on getting the junk out of the living and dining rooms!


  4. Jane Fritz

    I hear you, but you ARE still having summery weather, right?! You’re in Virginia and we’re NE of Maine, so I’m hoping you have a few weeks left before your first hard frost. I love your pictures and your descriptions.


    1. countrygirllifeonthefarm Post author

      It’s warm today Jane but the last two weeks the mornings begin around 55 degrees and doesn’t heat up until late afternoon. You have to remember our farm usually runs about 10-15 degrees cooler than Salem, Roanoke and Blacksburg (big towns near us but about 26 miles away in either direction) and our farm is in the mountains surrounded by National Forest. We did take the AC out of the windows today and put it away for the year. The fans have been cleaned and put away as well. Today we’re waiting on the remnants of Hurricane Isaac. We can use the rain and the cold front pushing it this way will be welcome.


      1. Jane Fritz

        Aha. I figured you were in hill country somewhere. What a beautiful part of the country. We’ve been through Blacksburg and the surrounding area. I still hope you are a few (many) weeks away from hard frost. We are also glad to see the end of what has been for us an uncommonly hot and humid summer, even though I know I shouldn’t complain. We’ll have plenty of time to wait for next summer!



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