Skip to main content

Get ready for cold conditions

Get ready for cold conditions
Click to enlarge
Operations - Store and Insure

Are you prepared for snow?

Last winter The Beast from the East blew through and caused all kinds of cold weather chaos. It cost the nation millions in lost productivity – but we had a lot of fun sledging and working remotely from the pub (it was the only place with working wifi). This year, I want to make sure I minimise the inconvenience and maximise the fun. So I’ve taken a few advance steps to get ready for bad winter weather. I got advice from various people – but I found the British Red Cross emergency kit advice very helpful.

My car is ready

I haven’t actually packed the car with snow gear yet: seems a bit previous when it’s not yet forecast. But I have bought a new ice scraper and some de-icer – thought I’d do it before the rush. I’ll get the snow shovel out of storage soon, and the car’s snow socks so they’re to hand in case we need them. I like to carry a blanket and a reflective triangle, too, in winter. One really good snow driving tip I’ve heard is to carry a bag of grit in the boot: not only can you use it under slipping tyres, but the extra weight in the boot helps with traction. I tend to avoid driving long distances if it snows; but you might like to consider a more comprehensive emergency kit, including food and water, particularly if you live in a remote area.

The larder is ready

Last year, we were without power on our street for a few days. Don’t laugh, but it meant our electric can-opener didn’t work. We endured, however: instead of staring sadly at our tin of beans, we just went up the pub, which did have power. But once the roads were clear I went out and bought a manual tin-opener. I’ve stocked up with a few large bottles of water and a variety of packets and tins of ready-to-eat food.

My house is ready

Our neighbour’s pipes froze last year and they actually got a massive ice... thing rising out of their toilet. I checked the insulation on all our pipes and made a few repairs here and there.

The next item on my list was a bag of grit for the path. I’ve stashed it in the shed for now: there’s plenty of room in there because I took Jeremy’s advice and moved a lot of my summer garden kit into self-storage .

As I mentioned above, the power went down on our street last winter. Our fancy portable landline handsets failed after 45 minutes, which wasn’t a complete disaster – but it really made me think. I picked up a very basic non portable phone that we can plug in as a back-up.

My wardrobe is ready

We brought our winter clothes out of storage last month: it’s like having a whole new wardrobe! If there’s a snow forecast, I’ll be bringing the skiwear out of our self-storage unit , too -- which reminds me, I need to book in a couple of weeks on the slopes this season.

Winter is definitely starting to bite, but the satisfaction of being ready for tricky conditions is one of the season’s great pleasures. What steps have you taken this year?