How to Stay Safe During Winter Storms When Living Off-Grid

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Winter weather can provide unexpected challenges for those living off-grid. Here are some important preparations you should make before winter storms hit.

It has been a glorious and warm autumn in many areas of the country this year, but eventually, winter will set in. And when it does, preparation is key – especially if you are living off-grid! Winter storms can be fierce, and without some of the modern infrastructure like snow plows and consistent water access, off-gridders can meet with unexpected challenges.

The article below discusses some of the challenges and shares some helpful tips for how you can prepare ahead of time and stay safe during winter storms when living off-grid.

Remember, it is easier to prepare ahead of time then to try to handle these issues in the middle of a severe windstorm or blizzard!

Stay Up-to-Date and Connected

Keeping up to speed on the weather is important for off-grid living. During the winter months, it could be your survival that depends on it. It might seem like common sense, but check daily for weather updates in your area and region. Here are ways we stay in tune to what’s going on in our region:

National Weather Service Smartphone App. Easy to use app. This is a great tool for finding out what is going on in your surrounding area.

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Local Independent Weather Sources. Although the big dogs like the National Weather Service do a good job, using a local source can be a more precise way of obtaining weather news. A local source will know the area well and can make more detailed predictions.

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Radio Communications. Having radio communication that does not need electricity is very beneficial. This way, if the power goes out or is down for multiple days, you have a means of staying connected and informed on what is going on.

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Winter Storm Preparedness Essentials

We strive to have our daily and basic needs met. But in the case of bad weather, and the possibility of having to stay on the homestead for multiple days, here are the things we emphasize.

Food. Kind of a no-brainer. But you would be surprised at the amount of food you can go through if a large winter storm comes through and suggests you stay put for 3 or 4 days. It’s always a good idea to have non-perishable items on hand. Canned goods, dried goods, pastas and beans are all great examples of what to stock up on.

Water. We have a 600+ gallon water tank as our off grid water system, that is at the top of the hill and is gravity fed. We go into town to a local community water source to fill our tank. By continuing to keep our water tank full, we could easily go a month, maybe 2 if we had to without having to refill…

Power. Solar power is our main energy source. But not everyday is going to be sunny, especially during a storm. We have a fuel run generator that operates everything when the days are cloudy.  When we know a storm is brewing, we head to town to fill up on fuel and always try to have at least 5 extra gallons on hand.

Firewood. Figure out your heat source, and always have a back up. Chopping firewood and having a large supply on hand is always a good idea for the winter months. Electricity can fail, but lighting a good old fashioned fire, won’t. Keeping your shelter warm can help prevent pipes and food from freezing.

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