With devastating snowstorms rolling across the United States as I write this, I think this one is a timely reminder of all the things you’ve forgotten to buy for your homestead. I know it’s impossible in certain areas right now to even go outside, and there’s long waits at the supermarket and places like Walmart as the masses try in vain to be a little more prepared throughout the cold winter days we’re battling against, there are a few things you should have in your homestead to improve your chances of survival. As soon as you get the chance, make sure you’ve got your hands on everything in this list below:
Considering how much electricity we use in our homes, it’s surprising to me just how many people won’t even consider buying an electric generator. But without it, you’re at the mercy of the power company and the entire grid going down. If its just an hour or two, you’re probably going to be fine, but what about if a crisis went a little longer? What if you were stuck without power for 3 days, or even a week? That’s when you need a generator.
I’m a big fan of cooking on a charcoal grill, and I’ve got plenty of coals ready to keep my cook-ups going once the SHTF. But there’s an added benefit to an outdoor barbeque, and that’s once the whole grid is down, you’ve still got a safe and convenient way to cook your food. And a charcoal barbeque can easily become a wood barbeque, meaning you’re likely never to run out of fuel to keep your cooking going. All you need is a hatchet and you can collect all the firewood you need in a pinch from the woods, as well as an endless lighter to get it going.
Large plastic tarps
Another item that you wouldn’t even think of buying until there’s a problem, having a few large plastic tarps on hand is a good idea. For me, when a branch came down on my shed and took out the roof, it was a disaster at 2am. But instead of worrying too much, we threw a tarp over the top, tied it secure and went back to bed to deal with it in the morning. Once we got the tree out, the roof was a simple plastic tarp for about a month until I had the time to fix this one up. You need tarps in your stockpile.
Electric light bulbs
I have a love-hate relationship with the lights in our house. We’ve got these lovely double-high vaulted ceilings, but that means changing the lights is a task done perched on the top of a ladder, one that I’m sure is going to let me fall one day. But the trouble is that few people think to stockpile these, and once your bulbs have blown you’re not going to have light. It doesn’t hurt to buy a few extra and keep them with all your other supplies.
Tow winch for your car
Keeping a tow strap in my car has saved me and my vehicle from getting stuck on several occasions, and I highly recommend carrying one yourself. As well as a pair of jumper cables, and all the different items you’d need for simple repairs. Like a jack and a tire iron for swapping out a spare tire, or a new fan belt if yours has happened to break. Older cars are easier to care for as they’re much simpler, but you will need to find one that’s been well looked after, or you’re going to be inheriting a car that’s not worth your while.
Burst pipes are a mainstay right now, and if there’s one area I’m lacking myself it’s all the different hardware supplies I’d need to keep our home in good working order. Everything from planks to board up the windows, to the plumbing and electrical supplies you might need. Think about all the repairs that may need to be done, and start stockpiling the materials you will need to get it fixed. Pine boards. Screws and nails. Duct tape. Whatever it is you think you might need, order it now. Once the SHTF I can almost guarantee you that the hardware store will not be open. Heirloom seeds to grow
Another item that you’ve probably not yet got enough of are seeds for the next few years crops. When the shops are closed you’re going to struggle to get your hands on the seeds your garden needs, so start buying these now. My personal advice is to look for the heirloom varieties, as they’ll also produce seeds which you can re-collect at the end of the season (or let them grow free-range as they naturally go to seed). We also make a habit of reusing the seeds from anything we eat, and we’ve now got avocadoes and onions growing, potatoes too, and even chili and tomatoes.
More fencing wire
There’s a rule of the universe somewhere that seems to think things should always go wrong at the most unfortunate times, and it’s usually the middle of the night that I discover our cattle have got out through a broken fence. Keeping spare fencing wire on hand is a smart idea, one that many people fail to consider but it’s vital. Without this, how would you ever repair a broken fence, to keep your cows in and out of harm’s way.
When a crisis strikes, it’s the people who have thought ahead who fare the best. You shouldn’t be scrambling like the masses to stock up on these last-minute things in a snowstorm, so pay attention, and when you’ve got the chance it’s important you get all of these sorted for your homestead. You can thank me later.