Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Winter Prepping

Winter in Canada

The smells of beef stew in the crock pot and chestnuts roasting in the oven permeate the house. The snow falls slowly in large flakes that swirl then quickly gather and blanket the yard. It's winter in Canada and like it or not, that means winter prepping.
I like to make a winter checklist of things to do just before we get hit with the seasons' first snowfall.

Here's an example of my list:
-Get the furnace checked/ do annual maintenance
-Clean ducts
-Double check secondary heat sources (plug in heaters)
-If you're lucky enough to have a wood stove, check and do maintenance, top
 up wood storage
-If it's been 6 months- 1 year, check and refill water storage,
  move it to where it won't freeze
-Tune up the car, put winter tires on
-Make sure all vehicles have a safety kit containing at least:
     -candles, snacks, first aid kit, water, flashlight, blanket, gloves,
      folding shovel, kitty litter (for traction), and jumper cables.
      I like to put mine in an empty paint can which has multiple uses.
-Clean eaves troughs to prevent ice backup
-If necessary, put plastic insulation on interior windows
-Check salt storage or buy salt and replace any broken or damaged shovels
-Inventory your food storage and make sure nothing has invaded your pantry.
-Top up on ready to eat foods.
-Check over sleeping bags, make sure they're in good condition.
-Empty and restock bug out bags for winter survival, make sure all documents
 are up to date, copied and packed.

That's just an example of my list. Yours might be longer or shorter depending on your situation. I believe winter prepping is most vital to us Canadians as I believe winter to be our biggest threat. Not only does it pose health risks such as frostbite and hypothermia but a winter power outage can also cause serious damage to your home.

Here are some tips to help if you do experience a winter power outage:
-Close drapes/ blinds to conserve indoor heat.
  If necessary, hang blankets over windows to further this goal.
-Open taps to a slow drip to prevent pipes from freezing.
-Close off an interior room for household members by hanging a blanket
  in an open doorway, or by plugging drafts under existing doors.
  Restrict movement into and out of this room to maintain heat.
-Candles cause fires. If using candles maintain proper precautions by
  keeping them away from flammable sources, children and pets.
  Keep your battery powered carbon monoxide and smoke
  detectors in the same room along with a proper fire extinguisher.
-Never use a generator indoors or when wet, store fuel outdoors as well.
-Never use a BBQ indoors, fumes are deadly.

Remember that winter in Canada is not only inconvenient with the shoveling and travel hazards, it can be a serious event.
If you have any tips to share, please feel free to add them in the comments.


  1. Replacing your furnace filter is a must. Get a good one. HEPA type filter for $30. Stay away from the $9 jobs as they are worthless.

  2. Great winter checklist! I just bought my first house so next winter I get to make my own winter list. I would love to see a Canadian winter. Do you use bryant furnace filters? I was told that is what I need to use? What other annual maintenance does the furnace need besides replacing or cleaning? I am clueless when it comes to stuff like this.