Winter preparations

Things we are doing or planning to do in order to be prepared for whatever winter may bring.  Bear in mind that we live in a small rural village in the Fens, 8 miles from supermarkets/banks/feed shops etc along country roads.  We also get power cuts each winter at least once or twice!  If the item is crossed through, I have done it!

  • Get £50 in cash to keep in the house for local shopping in the village shops during bad weather.
  • Get the pantry storage set up in the garage with tinned/dry/packet foods.  Inventory this and rotate the stock.
  • Buy IKEA cheap fleeces, use to line the thin curtains in some of the bedrooms.
  • Rugs on the kitchen floor.
  • Keep the oil tank at least half full; check on it regularly, and watch Boilerjuice for prices.
  • Check cars over - oil and water, screenwash - regularly.  Tyres replaced at back of Vectra
  • Buy screenwash.  
  • Put together an emergency box for the cars (1 for each) with things that might be needed if we got stranded in cold weather (ideas on MSE website)
  • Extra blankets or quilts ready to put on the beds when it gets colder
  • Fleeces/rugs ready for snuggling on the sofas
  • Hot water bottles rounded up and in one place, checked for perished rubber.  If available cheaply, buy a few more - aiming for 2 each so have one near feet and one to cuddle!  At present, have 5.
  • Matches/candles/batteries/torches in stock, checked and available.  (Need matches to light gas hob if power cut as well as for candles)
  • Hats/scarves/gloves/winter coats/lined raincoats all ready.
  • Slippers sorted for everyone Me, YFG, EFG, FH (EFG's need washing, need to get some for FH)
  • Muckboots and warm old clothes ready to layer up for winter chicken work
  • Plenty of rubber gloves ready for winter outside work
  • Get my leather boots resoled (over 10 years old and going strong - about time they were resoled!) Cost me £19.99 but given that they are so old and comfortable, I decided it was worth it - they will probably last another 10 years  now!
  • Get copper kettle out and put on woodstove so that it heats water each night to fill a couple of hot water bottles
  • Wood ready for burning, plenty of kindling chopped and ready
  • Chimney swept
  • Spare pet/chicken food in stock - at least 2 weeks' worth (Cat)
  • Never come home in a car with an empty-ish petrol tank - fill it up!!
  • Put summer garden furniture under cover for the winter.
  • Stock up on kids' medications - Calpol, Nurofen, Piriton, etc
  • Make sure FH gets slightly ahead with his medications and asks for repeats on time (Surgery occasionally "can't get hold" of one of his two vital anti-rejection drugs and I have to trawl round local chemists for supplies - not ideal if snow on ground as I hate driving)
  • Keep supply of disinfectant (winter vomiting virus may strike!)
I freely admit that this list is heavily influenced by the thread on the MSE forums about preparing for winter.  I may add more things to it in the weeks ahead, and I would be interested in other ideas that I may have forgotten about!!