Getting older makes everything a little more difficult even if the weather is great and time are good. If the winters get wicked where you’re at, things can really get tough. There are some things that you should do to make sure that you’re ready when tough weather hits, especially if SHTF during winter.
Even if the disaster is short-lived, such as a blizzard that temporarily knocks out power, you still need to be prepared. This list of essential to-do’s for oldies will help you make it through no matter what happens.
Weatherproof Your House
Keeping warm is the first thing that you need to worry about, especially if you lose your primary source of heating when SHTF. Most modern houses are built to be energy-efficient, which means that they hold the heat (or the cool) in well. If you have an older house, you may not be so lucky. Here are a few ways to keep your house warm and toasty. Some are expensive but others aren’t, so just do what you can.
- Put weatherstrips around your doors and windows to stop leaks
- Make sure that your insulation is good
- Fix any leaks in your roof
- Make sure that your chimney flu works properly if you have a fireplace – you lose a ton of heat this way!
- Add plastic coverings to the insides of your windows for an added layer of insulation
- Use heavy drapes in the winter
- Make sure that holes through your walls or roof by pipes or electrical wiring are well-caulked so that drafts can’t sneak in and heat can’t pour out around them
- Replace your screen door with a storm door
Take Care of Your Property
Make sure that there are no branches hanging over your house that could break and do damage. Also, clean up any debris that may be lying around that could either blow through a window or cause you to trip if it becomes covered with snow and you can’t see it. Broken hips are much worse than broken windows but it’s best to avoid both!
Install a Wood-Burning Stove
If you heat with electric or gas and you lose those utilities when SHTF, it will only stay warm for so long. Also, you’ll have no way to cook. A wood-burning stove is the perfect solution for both problems. It may be a bit pricey to buy and install but it’s a worthy investment if it keeps you from freezing to death.
You’ll need a good supply of wood and you don’t want to traipse too far to get it, so put at least a few days’ worth of wood where you can safely reach it even in blizzard or hail conditions.
Especially if you’re on life-sustaining medications such as heart or blood pressure pills, you need to have at least a month’s supply stored at all times. Rotate them so that the ones that you are storing are the newest ones because medications do expire.
It’s also a good idea to know about natural ways to replace your medications and grow those ingredients so that if you should run out of your meds, you can take other steps to survive without them. Keeping a book on herbal remedies is a great idea because then you’ll have a guide to reference for dosages and other information.
Use Manageable Containers for Storage
As we get older, things get harder to lift, open, or carry so be sure to use containers that you can manage by yourself. Five-gallon buckets are great to store water in, but are you going to be able to move that bucket once it’s full? It’s no good to you if you can’t use it.
The same thing goes for medication bottles, jars or other containers that are difficult to open if you have arthritis or other conditions that reduce your strength or ability.
Stock Plenty of Food and Supplies
It may seem like a no-brainer, but the bottom line is that you probably aren’t the great hunter/gatherer that you were when you were 20 or 30 years younger.
You may not be able to go out and shoot a deer or even walk to the neighbor’s to borrow food if you’re older or house-bound. You need to make sure that you have plenty of food and medical supplies to get you through if SHTF.
Stay Physically Fit
Just because you’re older doesn’t mean that you can’t be physically fit. Being healthy will go a long way toward helping you survive a SHTF situation. Even if you can’t “work out” you can still do exercises to help stay slim and keep your muscles stay as strong as possible.
Have a Plan
Work with your neighbors to make sure that everybody stays safe and is checked on.
If you don’t think that you can make it through a disaster on your own, make plans so that you aren’t alone if the situation is foreseeable. If not, make a buddy plan so that somebody stops in and checks on you.
If you’re able to get about freely, offer to do the same for a neighbor who may not be as fortunate.
We hope that this list of essential to-do’s for oldies will help get you ready to survive winter if SHTF. We know that we probably missed a ton of excellent suggestions, so feel free to share any more ideas with everybody in the comments section below.
This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia.