Are You Ready for a Colder, Snowier Winter?

No matter where you live in the U.S., you’re likely to get hammered by severe weather this winter. Blizzards, ice storms, freezing temps, high winds… you name it. It’s coming in one form or another.

There are many weather forecasters making predictions for this winter. We don’t have time to look at all of them. So, let’s focus on the Old Farmer’s Almanac. It’s America’s oldest weather forecaster. We’ll also discuss the 7 most important items to have handy for dealing with it. 

Cold + Precipitation = Snow & Ice

The Almanac’s projected winter weather map shows cold and snow for a vast majority of the country. I’m talking about from coast to coast. And extending well south below the Mason-Dixon line. It’s likely to start next month.

In the few areas of the country where they’re predicting more mild temperatures, they’re calling for wetter than average conditions. Including the Deep South.

If you’re not receiving plenty of snow this winter, you’ll probably be getting hit by more rain than usual.

One thing we’ve all learned to dread despite forecasts is a polar vortex. If it occurs, it will bring dangerously cold temperatures to the entire country. 

7 Ways to Prepare 

OK, so it’s going to be a colder and snowier winter than normal. Which will result in power outages, closed roads, and a number of other issues. How can you best prepare for that? Glad you asked. Let me list 7 things to have at the ready.

First and foremost is survival food. Without the vitamins, nutrients, and overall sustenance you can only get from eating enough food, everything will be more challenging to deal with.

You will also need plenty of clean drinking water in secure containers. As well as ways to clean water you may have to gather from potentially contaminated sources. Backup power in the form of a generator is also essential. As is a first-aid kit.

Then add a reliable way to receive vital information. Such as an emergency weather radio. Plus a portable power bank to make sure your cellphone and other electronic devices stay charged. And, of course, plenty of blankets and extra clothes to say warm, inside or out.   

Seniors Beware

Let’s wrap this up by discussing how winter weather can be especially troublesome for seniors.   

From falls on ice and hypothermia when you’re outdoors, to power outages and even depression while inside.

Indoors or outdoors, falls can be debilitating and even life-threatening for seniors. They often result in hip and wrist fractures. And even head trauma.

Once you’re in your 50s and beyond, complications and slow recovery times are common with falls. Ice on sidewalks compounds this problem significantly.

As much as possible, stay inside when it’s icy outside. If you do have to venture outdoors, make sure you’ve put salt down on your sidewalks. Wear shoes or boots with good traction. Remove them when you’re back inside. Otherwise, you could track ice in. 


It’s amazing how quickly frostbite and hypothermia can come on. Officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that more than one-half of hypothermia-related deaths involve people over age 65. 

Wear layers both inside and out. Keep your indoor temperature at 68 degrees or so. When you do have to go outside in the cold, make sure you cover all your exposed skin. 

That means a warm coat and gloves. And a hat that covers your ears. Plus a scarf over your nose and mouth, which will protect your lungs from cold air. 

Sunglasses are a must to avoid snow blindness. When back inside, keep your skin from drying out with a moisturizer. And by drinking plenty of fluids. 

Power outages

Cold, snow and ice can wreak havoc with power poles and electrical grids. The key is to be ready for a blackout so you’re not scrambling when it happens.

A back-up power supply, such as a solar-powered generator, can bring you peace of mind. Regardless, keep a flashlight and batteries in a place where you can find them quickly in the dark. 

In another location you can access quickly, stockpile a variety of items. Like blankets and non-perishable food. As well as drinking water, a first-aid kit, and a battery-powered radio. 

Keep your electronic devices fully charged so they’ll last as long as possible during an outage.


It’s well known that darkness can increase one’s depression. And there are more darker hours during the winter than any other time of year.

Making this problem worse is that we spend less time with friends in the winter due to staying in our homes more. Take advantage of the nicer winter days by getting out and getting connected.

When you need to stay inside for safety, make phone calls to friends and have video chats with them. And have plenty of books and magazines handy to help you pass the time. 

Eventually we’ll be able to enjoy warmer temperatures again. In the meantime, let’s stay as safe as possible.

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