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Are you doing something extra to prepare for this winter, because of Covid or else?

There’s a good chance that this winter we’ll go into a second lockdown because of Covid (paired with flu). So I am taking extra steps now in preparation for this winter, something that in normal circumstances I would have not felt the urgent need to do right now. 

This is what I’m doing before the winter:

  • Changing my car’s tires. They’re not awful right now but they’re getting to the point that they need to be replaced. In normal circumstances I would have waited until next spring/summer, but in the event that something actually happens to them while we’re into a second lockdown and shops are closed I am doing that now. Winters are also snowy and icy in here so I don’t want to take any chances.
  • Bloodwork. I have avoided doing tests (routine  or otherwise) or go to the dentist throughout the summer, but I am taking advantage of this window where infections are lower to keep on top of my health. My GP herself suggested I’d wait on all of the other stuff, but she’s of the opinion that I could at least do some quick bloodwork now. It should be quick, in and out. Let’s call it a calculated risk. 
  • CCW permit. Ok, the reason why I feel compelled to that that now rather than later, is more political than infection-related. Although this is not the place to open that can of worms, I always hope for the best and prepare for the worst. Yup, I’m taking my CCW permit in case shtf in Nov.

Are you doing something extra now to prepare for this winter?

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  • Comments (23)

    • 7

      We’ve stocked up on a lot of food, both store-bought and home-canned, bought a generator, got the propane tank refilled for the fireplace, I set up an HF antenna and a radio, and I’m planning to plant a bunch of garlic. I was planning to plant a large fall garden but I’m low on time and energy at the moment, and we already have so much food the house is getting cramped.

      • 4

        We’ve only recently finished building our pantry space so food is going to come up next for us. Fortunately we haven’t seen much supply disruption in our stores (yet – and of food, that is) so I hope we can build some up in the next week’s.

        I envy your home-canned food supply, though! We’re not there yet to take canning on, but I miss some of the home-canned foods my grandma and aunty used to make. Good memories!

    • 5

      We’ve been focusing on over winter supplies and storage (food, water, med supplies, ppe, extra ppe filters), vaccinations, and setting up for scheduled general maintenance (home, appliances, vehicle, firearms). In addition, at least one property has an upgraded fence and driveway gate; so, we’ve beefed up & security lighting. 

      It’s easy to feel “Okay, we’re good,” but like many here, it never seems done enough. There’s always something more.

      Lastly, thanks for the reminder that I need to step beyond my comfort zone and go in my doctor’s office to take care of that physical I’ve rescheduled a couple times.

      • 4

        Security lights are next in line for us!

        Totally agreed that you’re potentially never done with this: even if I felt in a good place with gear (anything from house security, pantry supplies, personal gear, etc – which I’m not right now anyway), I know that I would still need to work on skills, and those need constant honing.

    • 5

      I decided it was time to get organized about preparing this summer. I had dabbled in it, but with COVID, the economy, political tension, murder hornets, meth gators, seeds in the mail, etc…it was time to go pro.

      First, I signed up for The Prepared and started reading. Second, I worked the site into a conversation with my next door neighbors; I don’t think they are buying bulk rice yet, but they are unsettled by the near future. I’ve also topped off my rainy day savings account, renewed my CCW, upgraded my get-home bag, and got a flu shot.

      In the next few weeks I want to: have my car properly serviced, ensure I have 90 days of food, buy a grill as an alternate cooking plan, confirm the funcationality and zero on my firearms, and reconnect with a few people in my area who would be good in a crisis. Finally, I need to get a proper inventory of my preparations, camping gear, etc. 

      There is surely more I will be doing, but that’s my short list.

      • 2

        Good for you, man. I’m doing a lot of the same stuff though I didn’t hear about the meth gators haha. 

    • 6

      I just finished writing 8 pages of notes on what I’ve done, and I made it available to friends and acquaintances to encourage them to prepare. I encouraged folks to check out The Prepared and its Forum. The document topics were Background, Intention, Assumptions, Priorities (physical well being, emotional well being, water, food, shelter, communications, logistics), and Conclusion. 

      I replaced failing household items to avoid having to do it later when the situation might be worse — water heater, thermostats, bathroom water supply line, one of the electric baseboard heaters. I added a reverse osmosis water filter to feel better about the well water. I upgraded my vehicle to make it more functional if I had to leave — added side rails, crossbars, and a trailer hitch. I bought a bike rack and a soft-side cartop carrier.

      I bought camping gear and camped for a couple of weeks this summer, mostly nearby on private property, usually a day at a time. I wanted to see how well I could lug things around, set up, take down, handle the bugs. 🙂  I added a tool box to the vehicle (containing hammer, camp axe, nails, awl, small pry bar, wire snips, leather gloves). The bow saw doesn’t fit into the tool box. The tools are separate from first aid supplies.

      Regarding physical well being, I wrote, “I am not opposed in principle to other people using firearms to protect themselves. However, I do not choose that route for myself. I rely on situational awareness, avoidance of potentially harmful situations (even if that means avoiding worthwhile protests), reasonable precautions, such as locking condo and car doors, and basic self-defense techniques . . . If I find myself in trouble, I hope to call upon emotional intelligence and ‘soft skills’ to de-escalate the situation.”

      I really appreciate all The Prepared has done. Thank you!

    • 3

      Topped up and tweaked my go bags. Vehicles have new tires and have been serviced. Teardrop trailer is in the process of being ready to go with 2+ weeks of supplies. Pantry is filled. PPE, disinfectants, TP, paper towels, first aid kits, lanterns, and grills/propane all ready. Dental care and vaccinations next week. Security lighting in place, I nstalling some Nest cameras next. Need to add more water storage. 

      I got covid back in May and now have post-covid syndrome, so bugging out would be very, very difficult on foot (daily high levels of extreme exhaustion), but I’ve got my go-bag/backpack even so…and my vehicle evac and shelter-in-place scene together.

    • 4
      • Bought a house in the country (been working on that for years 🙂 )
        • lots of work/repairs/and such
        • taking down all the dead trees near the house before the snow flies
        • started a large  hugelmound with the logs
      • got 4 tons of pellets for the stoves
      • topped up the oil tank
      • got a shotgun + lots of buckshot and slugs
      • getting 9mm ammo when available
      • started mushroom logs 
      • picked up extra broadheads for hunting arrows
      • got a bunch more target pellets for the air rifle to keep practicing on the cheap
      • got a hydroponics setup to grow some food over the long winter here 
      • Getting some extra sand and salt for the driveway
      • got some extra saw blades for my hand saw, extra chain for chainsaw
      • I will also put snow tires on my subaru.  
      • continuing to just get a little extra every time at the grocery store
    • 3

      I have some extra food and supplies but nothing “prepper” level.  I have real N95 and KN95 masks if I need to go out to stores.  I got dental work done and dr’s appointments scheduled for soon.  I’ll be taking my dogs to the vet soon.  The primary thing I’ve done is invested in my “outdoor living room.”  It’s a covered patio with a modular outdoor kitchen and now I’ve added a TV, more electrical, and outdoor drapes.  I have a propane grill and fire table and electric heaters and throws.  I live in a temperate climate (El Paso, TX) and am hoping for a record warm winter.  

      My primary concern as a single 63 year old female this winter is my mental health.  I don’t have a family I have to worry about and I’m also not worried about any video game style civil unrest.  I’m not even that worried about covid as as long as I distance, have masks and don’t hang out indoors with a crowd. 

      I have an above average secure home in a typical surburban setting, so in terms of high crime due to economic distress I feel secure.  If it’s really apocalyse level then I’ll deal with it then.  I’m a lot more worried about global upheaval from climate change than our mismanaged covid response.  I can protect myself from covid. 

    • 5

      COVID seems to be hitting the supply chains quite hard (I work in supply chain management).

      From that perspective, I think it’s time for people to do an assessment. 

      Look at your consumption and look at the supply chain involved.  Assess what items are critical (must have to live), which items are important (must have for work/school/information) and which ones are important but can be dispensed for a bit (comfort products).

      COVID has less to do with civil unrest and more about scarcity due to production & transportation impact (fewer planes, fewer trucks, more demand for PPE vs. other goods).  Everything you use came to you through a supply chain.  Assume that’s where COVID is going to have a big impact and build your plan against that. 

      Start looking locally for some of the highly perishable products like eggs and fresh veggies (Farmers markets, local buying clubs, etc) to begin insulating yourself from supply chain shocks. 

      I’ve been stocking up on proteins (both animal and plant), building up stocks of staples like rice and pastas and built up more buffer of frozen veggies (using a First In/First Out <FIFO> rotation for them).  I’ve built up supplies of cold/flu medicines (including cough drops) and added 4 more propane tanks (20lb) to the supply.

      Also consider bulking up on pet food.

      • 2

        The pet food portion hits home.  My boys need a prescription food for their kidney issues and some varieties have been difficult to get over the summer.  I anticipate increased difficulties as the weather gets worse & COVID cases increase.

    • 5

      I have stocked up on more wood and have been making pizzas and steaks in my wood stove. I love it actually. 

      Put some rain barrels/gutters in that are full so we have an extra 250 gallons of water.  

      • 2

        What size/brand rain barrels did you buy, Thomas?

      • 2

        I went with 50 gallon ones. Next spring I will probably bury a big water tank on the property and have everything flow into that instead of the small 50 gallon tanks. I live in the Southwest where it is dry, but the 5 tanks fill up in minutes and we are not caputing as much water as we could. Do you have a catchment system?

      • 2

        Currently, no. Live in the Pacific Northwest, where rain is abundant, so I want to set up some rain barrels. Live in a small lot so a water tank is no bueno, but the barrels I can do. Your system would have really helped my garden when I lived in Taos!

      • 2

        My plan is to set up a string of them along two narrow side yards of my house. Reckon I can fit 4–6.

      • 2

        Also…what brand did you buy? There are an aweful lot of ’em.

      • 2

        Taos is gorgeous! I live in Cedar Crest. I used this water barrel. They sit flush against my home. I drilled and installed a spigot about half way up so I could easily grab some water for the numerous potted plants on my decks. 

      • 3

        Is CC near Albuquerque? I seem to remember it is… I love the high desert. LOVE it. Well, as long as I can go somewhere else in early spring when everything is one big dust storm!

        Thanks for the link!

      • 2

        Cedar Crest is nestled in the hills of the Sandia mountains. You head East out of Albuquerque till you hit Tijeras, then go north. Nice little community. Sits at 7000 feet so it snows until late May, then starts again in October. 

      • 2

        Sounds like Taos weather 🙂