Surviving Winter Storms: A How To Guide

Snowy and cold has been the forecast for my state this year, with the Northern part of Utah digging out from under 28 inches of the greatest snow on earth,  even as I type.  We are at about 150% of average snow fall here, with more on the way.  This is a big change from the last several years of drought,  prompting me to compile a list of the best posts on Simply Preparing on the topic of  Surviving Winter Storms.

Surviving Winter Storms Safely

Clothing

I always have to grin when recent transplants from warm weather states realize that they are actually going to need a warm coat to survive winter storms with below zero temperatures.

1.  Learning how to dress in layers for winter weather is a must.

2. Don’t let your body heat escape into thin air.   These behind the head earmuffs are my favorite and don’t make me feel like a five year old when I’m out in the winter weather.    But you may be more of a beanie sort of person.

3.Gloves  You’ll need winter gloves that are warm,  water proof, moisture wicking and will allow you to work out doors too.

4. Winter Boots   I have a pair of KEENS that I adore.  They give my feet the support they need, while keeping them warm too.

5.  Insulated snow pants.  Maybe a pair of thermals to go underneath.

6.  Wool Socks  I remember first thinking that wool socks would be so uncomfortable.  The first thing I think of when I think of wool is rough and scratchy.  Plus, who wants to hand wash wool socks.  Then I found Smartwool.  Soft.  Warm.  Machine washable.  Your goal of surviving winter storms will be much more comfortable when your feet are dry and warm.

The Ultimate Guide To Surving Winter Storms

Surviving Winter Storms Without Electricity.

1. Your chances of losing power during a winter storm are pretty high.  Having a Propane Space Heater will allow you to heat the inside of your home safely.

2.  Firewood.  If you have a fireplace or wood burning stove,  make sure you keep an extra cord of wood available to burn.  You’ll also need a good axe for splitting wood and chopping kindling.

3.  Wool Blankets.   Far superior to cotton or fleece at keeping you warm, wool blankets are a must have for surviving winter storms without electricity.

4. Hand Warmers.  I buy these by the box and stash them everywhere.  Little bits of bliss, I’ll tell ya.

Food

Surviving winter storms requires  you having a stock of non-perishable food items to last for a while.  Granola bars and shelf stable milk for breakfast.  Peanut butter and whole grain crackers.  A can of black beans mixed with a jar of salsa scooped up with tortilla chips.

If you heat with a fire or a wood stove you can heat up canned soups and stews.  In a real pinch, you can even eat these foods straight out of the can.  Just make sure you have a good can opener on hand!

You can also purchase MREs (Meals Ready To Eat) that come with their own single meal use heaters.

Don’t forget the bottled water.  The rule of thumb is one gallon of water per person per day.

Sanitation

At the first sign of a winter storm, fill the bathtub up with water to use for flushing toilets. Add the water to the tank so that, if necessary, you can flush.

Another option is to get a box of the black contractor grade garbage bags. Place a bag in your drained toilet. Sprinkle some kitty litter into the bottom of the bag. Every time someone makes a ‘deposit’ into the black bag, add another scoop of kitty litter. You’ll be able to tie the bag securely and then store it outside until your services are restored.

A Guide To Surviving Winter Storms

Let There Be Light

The last thing you want is to be caught in the dark while surviving winter storm. Fortunately there are a lot of lighting options to choose from.

Camping Lanterns

Flashlights    At the price of this top rated Outlite A100, you can afford for each member of your family to have their own light source!

Candles   Don’t forget the matches!

Staying Safe Outside

1.  I’ve seen many people trying to remove snow from their roofs after a snow storm.  Make the job easier and safer with a roof rake.

2.  Ice Melt  Used for porches and sidewalks to keep them free from ice.

3.  Kitty Litter.  Yup.  Plain old non-clumping, non-scoopable, gravel kitty litter will help provide traction under your car’s wheels and down those front steps.  Can’t find this type of kitty litter?  Grab a couple of bags of sand.

4.  Snow Shovel/Pusher.

5.  Snow Scraper with Brush

 

Preparing for any possibility during a winter storm is simple common sense.  Don’t be part of the herd racing out to the grocery store in hopes of grabbing a loaf of bread and a carton of milk before the flurry flies.   Take the fear of of winter storms by being prepared before hand.

What things to you to do to prepare to survive winter storms?

 

Don’t forget to review Simply Preparing’s List of 11 Things To Do Before A Winter Storm!

 

Plan on traveling during the winter months?  We’ve got you covered. Check out our post on   Last Minute Winter Emergency Road Trip List

Save

Sharing is Caring:

Top 10 Oils For Prepping

If you don’t yet have a stash (or a hoard) of essential oils, now is the time to start stocking up. Things are changing in our ability to access health care and you want to be able to take care of your family in non traditional ways. To that end, here is the top 10 oils for prepping and how to start building your stockpile of essential oils. Unfortunately there are so many things that I am not allowed to share about oils due to regulations. So it is my hope that using what I can say below leads you to peak your curiosity about oils and starts you on your research journey.

top 10 oils for prepping

Thieves Essential Oil

I add 1 drop of Thieves to a cup of warm water as part of my wellness regimen.*

Top 10 Oils for Prepping: Thieves Essential Oil

RC Essential Oil Blend

I diffuse R.C. to create a comforting aroma.

Top 10 Oils for Prepping: RC Essential Oil Blend

Panaway Essential Oil

Oils for Prepping: Panaway Essential Oils

Peppermint Essential Oil

Peppermint is great when used as a dietary supplement to support healthy digestion*. It’s so perfect and convenient to just add 2–3 drops to my water.

Oils for Prepping: Peppermint Essential OIls

Stress Away Essential Oil

Oils for Prepping: Stress Away Essential Oils

Frankincense

I apply Frankincense topically to help smooth the appearance of healthy-looking skin.

Oils for Prepping: Frankincense essential oil

Copiaba Essential Oil

Oils for Prepping: Copiaba Essential Oil

Digize Essential Oil Blend

Oils for Prepping: Digize Essential Oil Blend

Lavender Essential Oil

Oils for Prepping: Lavender Essential Oil

Lemon Essential Oil

Oils for Prepping: Lemon Essential OIl

All of the above oils are available in Premium Starter Kit that includes a diffuser. While the diffuser is not practical in an emergency situation the oils can all be used on their own and are small enough to pack in your Bug Out Bag, ESPECIALLY the sample sizes. Oils are not inexpensive but when you know how to use them the cost is more than justified in your prepping. Please do not buy “cheap” oils that you find in big box stores or possibly adulterated versions online. This is your family you are investing in.

THE 2015 YOUNG LIVING PREMIUM STARTER KIT CONTAINS:

    • Young Living Diffuser-you get a choice between the Home, Dewdrop Diffuser, Bamboo Diffuser, Raindrop or Aria Diffuser (price ranges but starts at $160-Home diffuser may be substituted for the Dewdrop based on availability). Hint: if you have problems with your hands opening items it may be best to choose one other than the Dewdrop. I have the Home, Bamboo and Aria and I love them all. If you want a basic one to get you started the Dewdrop or Home is a great choice. If you want a beautiful show piece for your home, you are looking for either the Raindrop or Aria.
    • Lavender Essential Oil 5 ml
    • Young Living Thieves Essential Oil 5 ml
    • Copaiba Essential Oil 5 ml
    • Purification Essential Oil 5 ml
    • DiGize Essential Oil 5 ml
    • Peppermint Essential Oil 5 ml
    • Frankinscence Essential Oil 5 ml
    • Young Living Lemon Essential Oil 5 ml
    • R.C. Essential Oil 5 ml
    • Panaway Essential Oil 5 ml
    • Stress Away Essential Oil 5 ml
    • 10 Samples packets of essential oils which are perfect for traveling or your purse!
    • Ningxia Red sample packs so you can taste this Wolfberry blend for yourself.
    • Young Living Product Guide

Get $25 back When You Purchase a Young Living Premium Starter Kit

Because I feel so strongly that you need to buy yourself some books or apps for your phone to learn how to really use your oils I will give you a $25 refund via paypal when you buy a kit so you can buy more educational materials or additional oils. All of that information is below. Once you buy your kit, you automatically become a wholesale member which gives you the ability to buy all your oils at 24% off retail.

Additional Oils You May Want To Use Your Refund On:

  • Oregano
  • Tea Tree
  • Manuka
  • Helichrysum
  • Hyssop
  • Myrrh
  • Lemongrass
  • Valor
  • Peace and Calming
  • Cedarwood
  • Deep Relief Roll-on (the roll-on blends are perfect for Bug Out Bags)
  • Breathe Again Roll-on
  • Tranquil Roll-on

young living dewdrop diffuser kit

HOW TO GET A DISCOUNT ON YOUNG LIVING PREMIUM STARTER KIT

If you are ready to buy a Young Living Starter Kit all you have to do is click the button to order your new kit below! Then email me (address in picture above) with your paypal address and I will send you the $25 within 72 hours-easiest Young Living sale ever! You MUST use this button (and buy the kit the same month you sign up) or make sure that my referral information (1926067) is in the boxes as shown:

How to sign up for Young Living

Buy Young Living

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Sharing is Caring:

Preppers Wish List

Preppers Wish List Instead of the latest useless gadget this year, why not get some emergency preparedness gifts for your loved one? Here are a list of items that are guaranteed to be on your preppers wish list!

Stocking Stuffers:

Instead of putting them in a traditional stocking, I think it would be cute (and more useful) if Santa had a Bug Out Bag hanging in its usual place with all of the above in it!

Preppers Wish List Going Bigger:

  • Dehydrator
  • Canning Supplies (Tammy has some great money saving advice on canning supplies)
  • Pressure Cooker (not electric)
  • Foodsaver
  • Cast iron pans
  • Campstove (don’t forget the fuel)
  • First Aid Kits
  • Car emergency packs (Costco had a really nice one for $29 the other day)
  • Tent
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Fishing Gear
  • Hunting Gear
  • Emergency Toilet (could be a good gag gift that is REALLY appreciated someday)
  • 100 hour candles

Going REALLY Big:

  • Rain Barrels (check Craigslist for people that deliver in your area and only buy food grade & pressure washed)
  • Generator
  • Solar panels
  • Big Berkey Water Filter
  • Sun Oven
  • Big Buddy Propane Heater
  • Hand grain mill

 Free DIY Prepper Gifts

The most important prep we can have in my opinion is close relationships with friends, family, neighbors and loved ones. Take the opportunity this Christmas to reach out and connect with people. Maybe plan a spring camping trip, or offer to volunteer teaching skills you have, make a date to have some friends over to work on canning and food storage, or even set a date to go thrift store rummaging after the holidays. Remember: the greatest gift we can give is ourselves!

Happy Holidays!

 

Sharing is Caring:

Top Preppers on Pinterest

The social networking site Pinterest is a a great place to get ideas on prepping, homesteading and self-sufficiency. Last March we wrote a post on the top 5 pinners on Pinterest which became wildly popular. This fall we are discovering some new pinners (to us) and want to share this resource with you all. So, without further ado, we present….

Top Preppers on Pinterest

Top Preppers on Pinterest

Of course, you know we are always going to list ourselves so those of you who are not yet following can start seeing the pins we share! Click on the picture of the profile to follow us and all of the preppers in this post!

Simply Preparing on Pinterest

Top Prepper on Pinterest

Glenn H. Levy on Pinterest

One of our favorite prepping friends, Mom With a Prep, suggested our Simply Preparing facebook page that we check out this monster prepping pinner and we sure weren’t sorry. Glenn focuses a lot on survival skills, weaponry and alternative shelters.

glenn levy-prepper on pinterest

Family Preparedness Board on Pinterest

Another one of our favorite boards is curated by Mom With A Prep. We were invited to contribute to this fine collection and are proud to do so. You will find lots of “quick tip” prepping posts links here.

family preparedness

Are You Prepared? Pinterest Board

ConnieSmith1 created a great Pinterest Board called Are You Prepared? You will be after reading through all the tips and tricks she posts here.

Are you prepared? pinterest board

Prepared Housewives on Pinterest

I love when people take the time to organize their board covers to make it easier for people to find things! I really need to do this but for now I will simply enjoy those pinners that are more organized than myself!

prepared housewives on pinterest

Backwoods Home on Pinterest

Backwoods Home is a print magazine that is coming to life on Pinterest. They post mostly their own uploaded photos and tips from the magazine to their Pinterest profile.

Backwoods Home on Pinterest

Of course, we still highly recommend our Top 5 Pinners For Prepping from last spring so click the graphic to visit them.

top 5 pinners to follow for prepping

 

We certainly don’t claim to be perfect and we are sure to have missed some great pinners! Who are they? Leave us their name and pinterest profile URL in the comments so we can check them out and maybe include them in our next roundup!

 

 

Sharing is Caring:

Preparing for the Outdoors: The Ten Essentials

If you are planning to spend any amount of time outdoors, it is critical that you make sure you are prepared for anything. Recreational activities like camping, hiking, and backpacking are great in order to get out and enjoy nature, and they can be fun for the whole family! However, emergency situations can and do happen in the wilderness, and if you are miles from civilization, the chances of survival largely depend on you and your gear. In order to be prepared for a trip out into the woods, make sure that you are familiar with the Ten Outdoor Essentials.

ten outdoor essentials when preparing for the outdoors

The Ten Outdoor Essentials is a list of items you need in order to enhance your chances of survival if an emergency situation occurs. Ideally, these items need to be brought on every outdoors excursion. After all, being prepared is better than being sorry. However, as you grow more familiar with the list, you can modify it to fit your needs. The Ten Essentials is helpful to approach as a number of different systems. When preparing for the outdoors the Ten Outdoor Essentials are:

  • Navigation – A map is a must have on any hiking or camping adventure. You need to know where you are going and how to find your way back. It is also helpful to take a compass and know how to use it to orient yourself. Topographic maps are extremely useful for backpacking and going off-trail. A GPS can be a helpful tool, although it should not be relied on only. *We have a great post on how to prep a map for your family for you to follow up with.

  • Sun Protection – Sunscreen and sunglasses will protect your skin and eyes from the harmful effects of spending time outdoors. Be sure to reapply sunscreen often and pick one that has a SPF of at least 30.

  • Insulation – Even if you don’t plan to be outside for a long period of time, it is always helpful to bring an extra layer of clothes like an insulating jacket and hat. The weather can change rapidly in the wilderness, and hypothermia is a real threat, even in the summer.

  • Illumination – A headlamp or flashlight can come in handy in just about every situation. Headlamps are preferred because they are lighter, use LEDs, and free up your hands. Just be sure to pack extra batteries. *We love this little tactical flashlight.

  • First Aid Supplies – A good first aid kit should include supplies to treat everything from blisters, scrapes, upset stomachs, bug bites, and aches and pains. You might even want to include a splint and latex gloves for broken bones or other serious injuries. First aid kits come preassembled or you can build your own emergency kit.

  • Fire – If you find yourself stranded in the woods, building a fire could save your life. Invest in some waterproof matches and be sure to include some sort of tinder or firestarter like dryer lint. *Make sure you teach your kids how to start a fire as well.

  • Repair Kit and Tools – Handy if your gear is in need of repair, a knife or multi-tool is a must. They can also be good for food preparation and a variety of other things. A good repair kit also includes sewing needles and thread, patches, adhesive, and safety pins.

  • Nutrition – Be sure to bring extra food so you can give your body the energy it needs. Jerky, energy bars, and dried fruit are all easy-to-carry items. *Dehydrated apples are a tasty choice that you can make inexpensively at home.

  • Hydration – Keep your body hydrated by making sure you have extra water. Bring a water bottle or hydration reservoir in order to have plenty. If you are going to be in the wilderness for an extended period of time, you will also need to find water sources and a way to treat water.

  • Emergency Shelter – Recommended even for day trips, an emergency shelter can keep you warm if you find yourself having to spend the night in the woods. Emergency shelters include space blankets or a bivy sack (Amazon affiliate link).

What are your essential items when preparing for the outdoors? What items did we miss? 

*Notes with additional resources added by Barb.

Sharing is Caring:

How To Make An Emergency Road Trip Kit

An emergency road trip kit can make or break a family trip. Besides the essentials for a mechanical or health emergency, an emergency road trip kit should contain things that make your family comfortable and happy in case of the little bumps along the road, like unexpected delays or fun side stops. Remember: prepping is about preparing for both the little things and the big ones.

State Farm sent me a tote bag containing a Road Trip Safety Emergency kit for a recent road trip I took. It sure saved the day as our 2 hour drive turned into an unexpected 6 hour drive. Here is how you can replicate this.

How To Make An Emergency Road Trip Kit

emergency road trip kit

 

  1. State Farm suggests drivers keep a an emergency car kit like the one pictured here that is good for all purposes Road_Side_Emergency_Kit
    • A reflective hazard warning sign (this one’s a carrying case)
    • Jumper cables
    • Ice scraper
    • Tire pressure gauge
    • Ratchet set
    • Pliers
    • Screwdrivers
    • Electrical tape
    • Automotive fuses
    • Work gloves
  2. You don’t need to have something as fancy as this Hadaki bag, but it sure is fun! Any tote that zippers and holds all the contents of your kit is just fine.
  3. Sunblock and Bug Spray. Great for those unexpected side trips that can occur!
  4. First Aid Kit
  5. Roadside Emergency Kit
  6. Flashlight 
  7. Bottled water. I like to keep a whole case in the trunk as well.
  8. Snacks. Some with higher protein and some just to keep your spirits up.
  9. Baby wipes.
  10. External battery pack for your charger.
  11. Road Atlas. See how I plan to use maps in an emergency. This is a great time to make notes on what’s around you when you travel.

For tips on how to winterize your emergency road trip kit please visit this post.

There are many other great road trip safety tips available but I want to hear from you. What’s in your emergency road trip kit? 

The Prepared Mom signature

Sharing is Caring:

Top 5 Pinners to Follow For Prepping

Our love for getting prepping advice from Pinterest is well known and we often showcase our favorite ideas on pinterest here. Today we thought it would be nice to show you our top 5 pinners to follow for prepping so that you can follow them too. In no particular order here they are!

Our Favorite Pinners to Follow For Prepping:

top 5 pinners to follow for prepping

MomwithaPrep

Mom’s got her prep on. Pinning items for emergency preparedness, survival, shtf, teotwawki, homesteading and self-sufficiency.

Top 5 Pinners to Follow For Prepping-Mom With A Prep

 

MomPrepares

Join us as we build a movement. Let’s talk about family, Conservatism, Christianity, gardening, cooking, homesteading, economics, homeschooling and technology.

Top 5 Pinners to Follow  For Prepping-Mom Prepares

 

Ed Todd

My son just went to college and having more time now. I have found this Pinterest has become my new addiction. Most anything about me is related to these boards or on my Facebook. Be safe everyone!!

Top 5 Pinners ro follow for Prepping-Ed Todd

 

Jenn Fowler

Homestead Stuff & More
Top 5 Pinners to follow for Prepping-Jenn Fowler

 

Tammy Hodson

Food Storage

Top 5 Pinners to follow for Prepping-Tammy Hodson

 

Of course, we would be negligent in not showing off our boards as well! We would love to have you follow Simply Preparing on Pinterest. We like to think of ourselves as a top pinner of prepping materials.

Top 5 Pinners to follow for prepping on Pinterest-Simply Preparing

Compiling this list was actually inspired by my friend Melissa Taylor who is not into prepping at all (we need to convert her) but is very much into pinterest with over 1.2 MILLION followers. She just wrote her first book called Pinterest Savvy and I very much recommend all of you going to download on Kindle. Pinterest is a great way for prepping people to connect and share our life saving ideas! So the more of us that are comfortable using this great resource the better!

Source: amazon.com via Rachel on Pinterest

Sharing is Caring:

Prepping on a Budget: Saving on Gas

Today’s Prepping on a Budget Through Frugal Living post is kind of short and sweet.  But sometimes the best things come with the fewest words, right?

 

Prepping on a Budget Banner

 

If you have a Smith’s or Kroger’s nearby you’ll want to pay attention.  It wasn’t until lately that I discovered Smith’s gave DOUBLE gas points for gift cards.  Alas, I don’t always need gift cards.  In a wild  *duh* moment it hit me……if I purchase a SMITH’S gift card and use THAT to purchase my groceries, I get the benefit of the sales at our local Smith’s AND the double gas points.  Not only that, but several times a year you can rack up 4x the points when you purchase gift cards at Smith’s.

Every little bit helps, boys and girls.  Every teeny little bit.

Smith's Grocery Store Gift Card

At least this is what I told myself as I filled up MY car, my SON’s car and my HUSBAND’s car at $1.39 last week. 

 

Yup, we just lined our cars up one behind the other and filled them all up on the same bill.

Wondering what you could purchase at your local Smith’s/Kroger’s this week so you can use the plan outlined above?

Using the Kraft Promo and purchasing 6 of the 5 pack of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, you’ll receive a $6.00 coupon on your next shopping trip.  You can do up two 12 of the 5 packs per transaction, receiving two $6.00 coupons back, which makes each 5 pack of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese only $2.99 each.

To make your savings even better there are Kraft Macaroni and Cheese coupons out there for $1.00 off of 3 or more, making your final cost $2.57 per 5 packs of the Blue Boxes of goodness!

Check your local ads for other great stock up prices on Kraft Mayo and Salad Dressings!  (My ads runs through the 24th!)

Sharing is Caring:

Emergency Radio Review: Ambient Weather WR-111A

An emergency radio is an essential part of every households disaster and emergency preparedness supplies. I decided to do a video review of my new favorite emergency radio after purchasing the Ambient Weather WR-111A from Amazon. I hope it helps some of you looking for a new model or gets you thinking about buying your first! For roughly $40 this one can’t be beat in my opinion.  This little guy is perfect for a bug out bag, a car and any household. I love that it can be charged by both a hand crank or solar power, serves as an emergency phone charger and has a 3-LED flashlight.

The link above does provide a really small commission to the site if you purchase it but I don’t have any relationship with the company. Just was really impressed with it for the price and hope if you don’t get this one, you do at least have one model for your family.

Sharing is Caring:

Prepping on a Budget Through Frugal Living

Prepping on a budget through frugal living provides an opportunity to share ideas to help save money in order to afford the preps needed to help our families survive an emergency.

Prepping on a Budget Banner

 

My frugal accomplishments for this week included:

 

 

 

recycled ribbon

  • I dug out the ribbon I carefully saved from last year to use again this year.

 

homemade playdough

  • I made Snow Dough for Parker for home school this month.

 

Ball canning jars

  • I price matched the Lowe’s sale price on canning jars at WalMart.  Don’t know about price matching?  Read all about it on WalMart’s price match page.

 

This is a great time of year to pay extra close attention to you grocery sales flyers.  Baking supplies, chocolate chips, olives, stuffing mixes, and butter are all some of the products that go on sale this month.  Match these products up with printable coupons from www.coupons.com and take your savings even further!

Finally, rumor has it, that milk is going to really go up in price beginning in January.  You may want to check out the prices of dried milk in your area and stock up a bit!

Read last week’s Prepping on a Budget post!

What did you do this week while prepping on a budget? Please share with me your successes!

Sharing is Caring: