The Coldest Winter for a Century

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Svothe
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The Coldest Winter for a Century

Post by Svothe » Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:38 pm

This year we are supposed to being hit by the coldest winter for a century, temperatures dropping to a measly -20.C and we're expecting a great deal of snow and ice to now to land on top of the already flooded areas over the coming weeks and month. (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... flood.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;)

Is anybody making special considerations for this 'Apocalyptic' weather were having? and what preps do we all have in place or are starting over this winter period?

Me personally have stocked up on 3 snow shovels as well as another Army folding shovel to keep in the other car. Plenty of cold weather ski gear and thick waterproofs, several small gas tank heaters in case the fire goes off and we're stuck with -20 and zero heating. Salt and grit for the paths and drive as well as extra high-calorie food to be stored with the usual preps and in all of the vehicles incase we're cut off for the night.

Whats everyone elses winter preps?
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The Coldest Winter for a Century

Post by wee drop o' bush » Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:44 pm

So far I have bottled water, powdered milk, bread mixes, pulses, rice, canned goods, meat in the freezer and a Genny.
I need more of everything there plus more petrol to run the Genny, also more household sundries like matches & candles (non scented) etc.
Shovels aren't a problem and we have a bucket on the front of our tractor if necessary.
Lots of wood chopped to burn if extra heat is needed.
The worst problem we had was the ice on our doorsteps and round the house. We put sand on it but it wasn't ideal. So I could do with grit.
I have winter lined Craghopper trousers, polo necked tops, fleaces and moisture wicking running gear.
Laundry is a problem though as the pipes into the wash house freeze and invariably burst. I have plenty of detergent but my bath tub isn't great for washing clothes.
Our sheep (heavily pregnant I hope) are out main priority to be honest. Texels are able to stand a real cold snap so long as they get ample food and water but Rouge are less hardy and have aborted their lambs in previous cold winters (2009 & 2010). We will bring the sheep in early if it gets really cold. We have plenty of straw for bedding.

I have a basic car kit but I need to add water, chocolate & Kendal mint cake to it.
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Re: The Coldest Winter for a Century

Post by Svothe » Thu Nov 29, 2012 6:19 pm

Don't sound badly setup there buddy, gotta love Kendal Mint cake. You could feed an entire african village on the amount of calories in a bar of that stuff. I used to munch it like anything as a kid, no wonder I had so many fillings in those baby teeth!
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The Coldest Winter for a Century

Post by wee drop o' bush » Thu Nov 29, 2012 6:30 pm

I've never used KMC as an emergency ration but it is supposed to be very good for that. My husband loves the stuff and gets bought loads of it each Christmas.

So far we've not needed our generator much, but it'll be interesting to see how much of a benefit it is in extremely cold weather.
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Re: The Coldest Winter for a Century

Post by sheddi » Fri Nov 30, 2012 1:19 pm

I'm not entirely sure I trust the Daily Mail as a long-range met forecaster, and the Met Office site doesn't seem quite that bleak in its outlook.
http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

However it was -4 C here last night, and I practice what I preach here; I've got bottled gas on hand to keep at least part of my home moderately warm for 2-3 weeks, a couple of hurricane lamps plus fuel to provide area lighting, the usual food and water preps, and my car kit includes snow chains.
wee drop o' bush wrote:I've never used KMC as an emergency ration but it is supposed to be very good for that. My husband loves the stuff and gets bought loads of it each Christmas.
It's pretty much mint-flavoured sugar; good for a quick burst of energy, not so good in the longer term.
So far we've not needed our generator much, but it'll be interesting to see how much of a benefit it is in extremely cold weather.
If you haven't done so already, try turning off the incoming AC for a couple of hours and see how you get on with the genny. It's better to find out what you can and can't do now, rather than waiting for the day you need it!
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The Coldest Winter for a Century

Post by wee drop o' bush » Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:22 pm

Good advice Sheddi :)

We have ran the genny when our power is off for a few hours due to line maintenance. It's an automatic start one with the option for it to cut in automatically in a power failure. So far we just have it switched on to a manual start (though we checked to see if it worked in the automatic setting...it did) though I should test that again.
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Re: The Coldest Winter for a Century

Post by fourpaws » Fri Nov 30, 2012 3:26 pm

Must admit I could have kicked myself a few months ago when Aldi's/Lidl's (cant remember which one) had a reasonable genny set going for something like £179... looking back I should have branched out and bought it... but hey ho.. so back to eBay it is and having a look on there...

Following on from that Im just off online to buy some more candles, more thermal/silver foil blankets, gas canisters for my cooker and Im thinking of those Tilley lanterns that also act as heaters.. although I cant at the moment remember what they're called.. sure I'll remember by tomorrow..

oh BTW - KMC for the win !! awesome stuff !! I can feel my teeth tingling at the mere thought of eating it ! :clap: :clownshoes: :clap:
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Re: The Coldest Winter for a Century

Post by sheddi » Fri Nov 30, 2012 3:50 pm

fourpaws wrote:Must admit I could have kicked myself a few months ago when Aldi's/Lidl's (cant remember which one) had a reasonable genny set going for something like £179... looking back I should have branched out and bought it... but hey ho.. so back to eBay it is and having a look on there...
The key questions when it comes to generators are:
- How much power do you need? (I've got one of those energy monitor things connected to my incoming supply and it only ever goes over a kilowatt if I'm running the kettle and/or washing machine.)
- How much noise can you tolerate? (when it comes to small generators, inverter generators are quieter but more expensive.)
- What fuel? Petrol gennys are cheap (2-strokes more so), but it's much easier / safer to keep a stockpile of diesel.

Personally, I've got a cheap Chinese sub-kilowatt 2-stroke petrol genny but its main use is running power tools away from the mains; in a short-term blackout it could be useful, but I can't keep enough fuel on hand for the long term. If I was to be buying now, I'd seriously consider buying a 4-stroke instead (when I bought mine, 8 years ago, 4 strokes were all over £200 and I couldn't justify the additional expense).

ETA: it's quite a bit like one of these:
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Re: The Coldest Winter for a Century

Post by ForgeCorvus » Fri Nov 30, 2012 4:45 pm

Sheddi, That is cheap.... Question is, would you buy one if you only have a small budget or would you plan for not having power?

A useful thread http://www.zombiehunters.org/forum/view ... =6&t=80767, I don't think KMC is on there though
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Re: The Coldest Winter for a Century

Post by sheddi » Fri Nov 30, 2012 5:37 pm

ForgeCorvus wrote:Sheddi, That is cheap.... Question is, would you buy one if you only have a small budget or would you plan for not having power?
It all depends on your own personal circumstances. You might have good reason why continued electricity supply is very important to you; eg. if you've got a large/valuable tropical fish collection and needed power for air & heat to keep them alive during even a short power cut.

What follows relates to my personal circumstances.

If I was on a *really* tight budget, I'd plan to do without 240VAC power. Treat it like an indoor winter camping trip.

When I was a kid we had a 9-day power outage due to a winter storm. At the time we were living out in the sticks so we heated with coal & wood, and lit with lanterns and candles. It was kinda fun. Unfortunately (and unlike my parents) I don't have a Rayburn in my house so I'm stuck with a conventional mains gas boiler and wet central heating ...

If the power goes down, but the gas stays up, if I can get some power (even a few hundred watts) I can run the boiler and the central heating pump, keep the fridge-freezer cold, plus a few low-wattage lights and it'll be almost normal. So that's what I plan to use my generator for. Unfortunately due to the UK's laws on petrol storage I can only have a day or two's fuel on hand, so for a prolonged blackout (and assuming petrol will be hard to come by) I'm then falling back to Calor gas for heating and lanterns / candles / flashlights for light. (Even when the grid's up, my gas stove runs without electricity.)

If I didn't have a natural gas boiler, and heating was all electric, then oddly I probably wouldn't bother with power at all. I'd buy more Calor gas and burn that directly to provide heat.

If I had say £4-5000 to spend on parts & labour, I'd start thinking about an electric-start whole-house diesel generator (with a proper transfer switch) and a big tank of fuel to give me perhaps a month's grid-independence. But that's outside my current price range and fails the cost-benefit test.
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Re: The Coldest Winter for a Century

Post by fourpaws » Sat Dec 01, 2012 3:34 am

Thats a very good point Sheddi... I must admit that really the only thing that I had in mind was to keep some sort of heating going in the house. We have blankets and duvets etc etc but the morale factor of having a warmth supplier whether thats a hot air blower or fire of some description (Im thinking of those "jet engine" type blowers) is a concern for me.

I must admit that I didnt know about fuel storage regs in the UK but thats something Im going to have to go and read up on. I have 25ltrs of petrol in the garage in a proper container but thats purely for emergency use if the car needs it and we cant get any for whatever reason. I was thinking of stocking up on more when I get home.. may have to have a rethink. Unfortunately this is one of the preps that is potentially going to be expensive. In the LHDG's last house she had central heating and a log burner in the living room - often as not we used the log burner more as it chucked out a tremendous amount of heat.. the dogs loved it !... and coal is easier to store than liquid fuels ... time for some thinking I reckon !
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Re: The Coldest Winter for a Century

Post by sheddi » Sat Dec 01, 2012 6:01 am

fourpaws wrote:I must admit that I didnt know about fuel storage regs in the UK but thats something Im going to have to go and read up on.
See:
http://www.hse.gov.uk/fireandexplosion/ ... m-faqs.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
The Health and Safety Executive wrote:What is the limit of the amount of petrol I can store for domestic use?

The Petroleum Spirit (Motor Vehicles etc.) Regulations 1929 and the Petroleum Spirit (Plastic Containers) Regulations 1982 limit the amount of petrol that can be kept in a domestic garage or within six metres of a building (e.g. most domestic driveways). The limit is a maximum of two suitable metal containers each of a maximum capacity of ten litres and two plastic containers (which have to be of an approved design) each of a maximum capacity of five litres. These limits also apply to any containers kept in a vehicle parked in the garage or on the driveway (but not to the internal fuel tank of the vehicle). Under no circumstances should the petrol containers be stored in the home itself.

Anyone who wishes to store larger quantities than this, or use larger containers, is required to notify the local Petroleum Licensing Authority (PLA) and to store the petrol in a prescribed manner set out in the 1929 Regulations mentioned above - enquirers who want further details should contact their local PLA. Storage of more than 275 litres (60 gallons) of petrol requires a petrol licence - again, contact the local PLA.
Your local PLA is likely to be your Council.
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Re: The Coldest Winter for a Century

Post by fourpaws » Sat Dec 01, 2012 6:04 am

Oops ... bugger.. best I use that 25ltrs before some nosey swine drops me in the brown stuff.. bugger.. that leaves me now with 2 x 25 ltr containers, one of which has had petrol in it... oh well, sure that I'll sort something out... :wink:
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Re: The Coldest Winter for a Century

Post by sheddi » Sat Dec 01, 2012 4:33 pm

I'm sure you use them to store diesel, or paraffin, or kerosene, without any concerns ... :wink:
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