A tidy yard and outdoor areas mean less trouble in winter, prune back dangerous branches and cut back growth, which may be shredded in storms

Getting winter ready outdoors

by Andy Bryenton

Those who rose early last Thursday to attend Anzac commemorations at dawn would have felt the chill in the air.

It’s definitely on its way, and this winter is predicted to bring storms and wild weather thanks to prevailing long-term climate patterns over the oceans that surround New Zealand. That’s why it’s time to prepare a haven away from cold and damp, ready for the worst that winter can throw at us.

When it comes to cold, a good store of firewood and the tools with which to manage it are paramount. A good sharp blade on your chainsaw, an engine that fires up the first time and the safety gear to tackle mountains of logs with peace of mind are all essentials.

It’s worth noting that an old or temperamental saw can make hard and even dangerous work out of even the most simple of wood management tasks, so ask yourself; is it worth resurrecting that old ‘dinosaur’ from out of the shed when a new one is so readily available?

Similarly, with storms on the way, a tidy yard is one that’s battened down to withstand the blasts from weather fronts and lashing winds. Cutting back brush, pruning dangerous or rotten branches, clearing around electrical lines and cables; all of these are tasks for a reliable petrol or high capacity battery motor.

If there are big repair jobs to take care of (such as securing the iron to shed roofs) in locations away from power, a portable generator is a godsend too, as you can juice up battery tools, power items like drills and circular saws, or even weather a winter power cut.

That leads on to addressing the larger problems of a wild winter. If a natural disaster strikes, it’s a good idea to have the tools on hand to get through. Other than the Civil Defence mandated survival kit, which every home should possess, those in rural areas prone to blackouts or surface water build-up should look at maintaining generators, pumps and the means to keep a fire going in the absence of mains power. Check out the range available at your local outdoor power equipment provider soon and prepare for winter’s assault!