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Get ready for winter
It's around this time of year when newspapers that have run out of news stories start with the scare stories about how cold this winter's going to be.
And who's to say? Maybe they're right this time. So we looked online to see what we should be doing to protect ourselves and our homes from the upcoming inclement weather.
We're advised for example, to make sure our insurance policy covers such winter emergencies as the ones we're trying to avoid by making sure that:
• Our boiler's been serviced
• We've got enough heating oil to see us through to spring (same goes for cooking gas cylinders, which tend to give out just when we’re cooking supper on the coldest. snowiest night of the year. Our fault for keeping them outside)
• We have enough candles to cope with electricity cuts, plus an old-fashioned kettle to go on the hob when those cuts put our electric kettle of action
• Our pipes and water tanks are well lagged to stop them freezing up
• Our lofts and wall cavities are well insulated
• Our roof doesn't have any missing tiles - or loose ones that can be dislodged in a high wind. And if we've still got an analogue TV aerial, that should be looked at to make sure it’s still secure and won't blow down. Same – of course - goes for satellite dishes
• We've removed any other potential high-wind risks, like loose branches on trees nearby, and secured any garden furniture to stop it blowing away
• Our guttering is in one piece, doesn't leak and is still securely attached
• Our drains are cleared and working properly
• We've got some essential supplies like bread and milk stashed away in our freezer in case the weather's so bad we can't make it to the shops ... or if we can make it there on foot they won't have anything in stock because the roads are all impassable
• And while we're dealing with our freezer, we should be filling it with cheap cuts of meat, and then dusting off our slow cooker to create some easy casseroles to warm us up when the weather gets really cold
• We've either taken the salad dressings out of our fridge and binned them - or have finished them off in one great big salad binge - to make room for something more seasonal in there
So even if those doom-mongering newspapers are right and this really is going to be the coldest winter since records began, at least these little hints are going to help us get through the imminent ice age.
Home and Garden feature