Episode 322 S10-13
Be Prepared for the Cold
The Bitter End Ch 13
Weather forecasts are predicting a severe winter for the United States. Are you prepared to weather the storm? A little bit of preparation can go a long way when freezing temperatures descend upon you. In The Bitter End adventure, the Moore’s brace for the cold while evading TJ Swenson.
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Signs are showing a severe winter is on the way. Significant snowstorms have already hit the Rockies and the Northern United States. California got hammered by its first rain of the year. Meteorologists even called it an “Atmospheric Bomb!” All of this activity is being fueled by artic ice melt shutting down the ocean current system. Rapid warmings on our planet will cause cold in medium and higher latitudes. Renowned scientists from Arizona University and Princeton and Noah, Jiajin Yin, and Ming Zhao have recently published papers on the impact this oceanic current shutdown will have on our planet. In the future, the heat that runs up the eastern edge of the Rockies will shut down, and artic cold will dominate the plains area of the US. This activity is going to make the TX event of 2021 seem like a walk in the park.
Preparing for the cold starts with dressing for the cold. You want to dress in layers, and you can even add padding, like crumpled up newspaper, in between the layers to help trap heat and keep you warmer. Double up your socks as well. The first layer should be thin to wick sweat away with a natural fiber thick sock over the top of that. Remember that cotton kills. When cotton gets wet, it pulls away body heat. Do not wear cotton as your lower layer! The majority of heat is lost through your head, so wear a hat. Mittens are warmer than gloves. They make mittens with tops that peal back so you can do fine work with your fingers and then recover them.
When it is cold, you need to make special considerations for your vehicle as well. Batteries often fail in the cold. Have them tested before the lousy weather arrives. Auto parts stores are happy to test it for free because if it needs replacing, they make a sale. Also, make sure you have antifreeze in your cooling system and not just water. Water will freeze and blow out the freeze plugs in your engine. To be truly prepared for the cold, make sure your tank is always full. That way, if you have to stop and wait or drive a further distance than expected, you have plenty of fuel. Keep ice scrapers and a snow shovel in your emergency kit. Have blankets, candles, water, and snack just in case you get stuck or break down. In addition, you need to have good shoes and clothes to weather the storm in, just in case you have to walk or get out of the vehicle.
Your home needs special preparation as well. Now is an excellent time to make sure your home is appropriately maintained, the insulation is adequate, and the roof is in good shape. Have a walk around and make sure there are no threatening branches that could come through the roof or the window if a freeze or high winds were to hit. Also, this is the perfect time to make sure you have plenty of food and water stored up just in case you need to shelter in place for a while. Ensure everyone in the home knows how to shut down the main water supply and bleed the lines. If the power goes out and the house gets too cold, water in the pipes will freeze and crack the pipes.
Know the capabilities of your heating system ahead of time. If it gets too cold, will everything still work correctly? Make sure you have plenty of firewood on hand if you can burn wood for heat. Don’t boil water for warmth. It can create condensation in the home, and you could have icicles hanging from your ceiling fans. Also, freezing on both sides of the window could cause them to crack. If the home is getting cold, you can pitch a tent in the main room and have everyone hang out in there. Smaller spaces will trap more heat. You can also close the heat vents in all of the other rooms in your home except one to focus the heat to that area. Close your curtains and blinds and hang blankets over the windows to keep the cold out.
It would be best if you had oil lamps, candles, flashlights, batteries, and headlamps as far as gear goes. Solar-powered USB chargers are worth their weight in gold. Have a manual-powered Noah radio. Know the escape routes from your home. Be familiar with your local area. How will people react? How will your emergency management resources handle cold weather disasters. Know your neighbors. You may have to lean on one another. Consider extra resources to help feed them. Consider having supplementary building materials on hand to do emergency repairs.
Experts predict that heating costs will rise this winter and not all of us have fireplaces. Here are some alternative heating methods from Off the Grid News. Propane heating is an option, but even the price of propane is going up. Catalytic heaters run off propane and are safe for indoor and outdoor use. They are relatively efficient and don’t use electricity. They come in all shapes and sizes.
Kerosene heaters are another alternative, but the price of kerosene can be costly in your area of the country. You can always take advantage of passive solar by opening your south-facing windows during the day and putting something dark on the floor. Solar convection frames are fun DIY projects that provide heat. Take the top and bottom off of a bunch of tin cans, paint them black, frame them, and put them in a window. The heat will travel up the cans and help heat the home.
Use your brain and think outside the box. Happy Prepper has some great ideas as well. Use hand and toe warmers. If your water heater is powered by gas, take a shower. Purchase an alcohol-burning heater. Put together a terracotta pot heater (lots of DIY instructions online). HERC ovens use tea candles and convection heat to cook and provide warmth. Snuggle up and use body heat. Put your emergency sleeping bags, mylar blankets, down blankets, fleece blankets, and wool blankets to use. Use hot stones or hot water bottles to help heat.
Invest in a generator to provide power to your home when the utilities can’t. Remember, the generators stay outside!
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