I write this November article selfishly. I often use my work to work on things I need to improve on. As many of my readers know, I recently downsized during the pandemic. The real estate transaction and actual move were easy peasy. What was a hardship was renovating the older home we were moving into. The arduous months from March to July left me strung out with no energy left to work on many of the details I normally pay attention to. Dealing with tradesmen and inspectors during a quarantine was frustrating.
In our renovation project, we basically replaced all the mechanicals. This is not my area of expertise and I generally run away from this responsibility as a homeowner. Instead, I sheepishly defer to my husband as the superintendent of our homestead. The inner workings of an HVAC system is a bore to me. I’d rather be organizing. BUT alas, I do need to know how things basically work and what to do should and when an emergency happens.
So, I’m going to let my POSSE audience be my accountability partner as I prepare my personal pandemic and winter emergency prep list by Thanksgiving. I encourage you to do the same for your property and together we will be ready for the winter weather, COVID-induced isolation, and product shortages.
JM’s Personal Pandemic Prep List
The “Honey Dew” Understand and Label List:
- Generator – Can we move our generator in the garage to a convenient access point? How do I use it (let me write it down please because I will forget…)? Where is the gas? Where is the specific extension cord for it? Is the transfer switch all set and if I want to share some electricity with our literal next-door neighbor (we live in a two-family house now), how do I hook her up?
- Electric Panel – Teach JM what switch goes to what on the electric panel and label.
- Keys – Go through all the keys old and new since we moved in and prepare and label a backup location that the whole family knows about.
- Heat & Air – Instruct JM on the new “Mini-Split” unit which controls the temperature of our house including radiant flooring. Label accordingly.
- Water – Show JM the main shut off as well as individual water shutoffs. Anything special I should know about the check valve?
- Gas – Show and label the main shutoff, turn off the grill for the winter.
- Internet – Review Verizon equipment for a “Reset.” Label wires, and ensure passwords.
Supplies and Some Miscellaneous:
- Water – And other favorite non-perishable beverages (For me, coffee pods are a must!)
- Food – Non-perishables and a freezer stocked with family favorites
- Paper & Plastic Goods – Whatever your comfort level is on toilet paper, paper towels, tissues, napkins, plates, disposable silverware and various plastic bag sizes
- Information – The right people know where the passwords are, every family member’s wallet contents are copied and updated in the firebox, along with cell phones and computer passwords
- Lighting – Flameless candles, flashlights and batteries
- PE – Gloves, masks, soaps, sanitizers
- Money – Cash and credit information is on hand
- Medical – Get flu shots for the family and stock up on medicines and first aid supplies
- Fun & Entertainment or Even Education – Books, games, memorabilia/photo projects, podcasts, movies, new professional development opportunities… anything that brings you joy!
This is just my list. I’m not going to include state or federal suggestions, they can easily be found online. What I think is important to each person is the question, “What do you need to know or secure in place to feel prepared for a COVID winter?”