Preparing for Winter

It is well known that the time to prepare for an emergency is similar to the best time to plant a tree in your yard...long before now! I have often looked at my yard thinking “wouldn’t it have been nice if I had planted that tree 10 years earlier; I would have awesome shade today”. Oftentimes, when we are faced with some form of emergency, whether it is a dead battery in our car, an unexpected medical procedure (and bill), or something larger, we wish we had prepared sooner.


Today I am providing some easy-to-follow steps that will help you prepare for the winter season that is quickly approaching. By getting organized, maintaining you and your equipment, preparing for financial changes, and preparing yourself mentally, you will be able to manage the upcoming winter much easier.


Get organized. When preparing for winter, one of the most important things you can do is organize and clean your home and property. In the process, you should find and make ready your winter shovel (replace if it is worn out), ice melt, snow blower, winter clothing, and tire chains for your vehicle. Re-look at the emergency kit you have in your vehicle and make sure it has some warm weather clothing (coat, hat, gloves), a sleeping bag, a way to start a fire, fresh water, and some food. This is also a good time to inspect your home for needed repairs (to include the roof).


Maintenance on you and your equipment. Taking proper care of yourself almost goes without saying, but you should make sure that you have had your flu shot, been to your primary care provider for a check-up (to include dental) and are overall in good shape; If not, take action to fix it now. The more self-reliant and proactive you are now will help keep you out of the hospital and capable of helping those around you in an emergency. It seems like cars and other equipment always pick the worst times to have problems! Car batteries most often die in sub-zero temperatures when you need them the most. Conducting a little preventative maintenance by ensuring your battery, tires, fluids, and wiper blades are in good order goes a long way to avoiding potential problems in extreme winter weather. It is also a good idea to make sure your snow blower and spare generator are in good working order with fresh non-ethanol fuel available if needed. It is usually inexpensive to have the furnace and water heater in your home serviced and a good technician can often resolve problems before they develop in the middle of winter. If an emergency does arrive, it is a good feeling knowing that your vehicles, home, and necessary tools have been serviced.


Prepare for the possibility of financial changes in your life. This may be anything from ensuring you are putting a little extra money aside each paycheck to build a nest egg for the future, to looking closely at all of your investments and limiting risk. We never know when additional or unexpected expenses will arrive, so it is helpful to have a little extra money available. Often the best way to do this is by reducing your expenses. We most often do this by going without what we don’t actually need or even selling excess toys that we don’t use as often as we thought we would.


Finally, one of the best ways to prepare for winter or untold emergencies is to prepare your mind. Learning new skills such as first aid (CPR and stop the bleed classes) is a great way to improve your situation. With the advent of audible, apple books, kindle, etc.…, there have never been more books available to increase your knowledge than ever before. Take some time to read good books that will not only make you more self-reliant, but that also make you a better person.


Hopefully by taking these steps, you and your family will experience this winter and holiday season with confidence.


Please let the team at Southeast Utah Health Department know if we can be of service helping you, your family, or business be prepared.