Yup! That’s me yesterday morning. I was cutting firewood, wife person was gathering and loading it into the trailer. She took a break to video me cutting down a standing dead pine tree. All of this got me thinking about what we’ve all been hearing. And I have been researching and watching closely what has been happening in Europe…and California.
We have had the wettest monsoon season that anyone can remember in the last 50 years. And the old timers have been telling me that when they had this kind of monsoon season as kids…they had winters with lots of snow. And for lots of snow…it has to be cold.
But that is not all…the Farmer’s Almanac agrees…a cold and snowy winter for our area. However, the National Weather Service (NWS) is predicting above normal temperatures and below normal precipitation. So…who to believe?
I guess the right question should be…Do you want to take a chance on who is right?
For me…I am cutting firewood already. In a normal winter here we use about 1.25 – 1.75 cords of wood. This year I will have 3 – 4 times that amount cut, stacked, and ready to go. Why? It has been the rainiest monsoon in 50 years (2.5 months already)…the NWS didn’t predict that. It has already been cold…hitting upper 40’s already…the NWS didn’t predict that. So we are not taking a chance. Besides, if I don’t use all that firewood this year we simply have a jump on it next year.
But, don’t kid yourself and think we aren’t looking at multiple options…we will be ready, more ready this year than any other. How?
- 3 – 4 times more firewood than normal for our wood burning stove.
- We installed a back-up 150gal propane tank.
- We have four 25lb propane tanks, 1 is designated “Emergency Use Only”
- We have three 5lb propane tanks reserved for only outdoor grill use.
- We have a 30,000 BTU propane heater that connects to a plumbed household propane connection.
- We have a 4,000 – 9,000 BTU propane heater that has its own 1lb tanks, or can be hooked into 5lb tanks.
- We have multiple electric baseboard heaters.
That means we have two primary sources of heat…wood stove and electric baseboard heaters. Then we have two back-up heat sources, both propane. And plenty of propane on hand for the winter and then some.
One is none, two is one, three is a good start, four is security.
So why the heck do I share all of this information? Simple actually, I want you to know how serious we take redundant heat sources and how much credibility we give the idea that this winter might be really cold…possibly very cold for an extended period of time.
So my question to you…What is the winter looking like for your area, what are the predictions? And what have you done, are you doing, to prepare for it?
Think I am kidding around? No sir, I am not. Think about the situation in Europe…they are in big trouble and that may well be an understatement. Firewood is nonexistent because it has all been bought…since last month. They get their natural gas almost exclusively from Russia. Yeah, Russia…the same folks who have already cut the gas supply. They have drastically reduced the use and availability of coal. They have shut down most of their nuclear power plants. Their electric grid(s) couldn’t handle last winter or the winter before without rolling blackouts and brownouts. Their electric grid(s) couldn’t handle this summer’s demands without rolling brownouts. So what happens to their electric grid when Russia is not sending any natural gas, or not enough natural gas, to Europe?
Yup, they go out and buy electric heaters…then plug them in…then watch their grids fail. As they get colder and colder and panic increases what does America probably do to help them out? Yup, send them emergency shipments of LNG, propane, and oil. And what does that probably do for the supplies in America?
Think about your situation, your winter, your plan…what can you do now to help you and your family be better prepared for winter?
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