Winter can be an enjoyable time of year if you are prepared. Here are five ideas to get ready for the cold.
- Get Your Car Ready
Sliding off the road and being stranded for a few hours is a possibility during winter weather. Put together a kit that stays in your car that will cover you and your family. Have some basic first aid items, cash, water, food, blankets, maps and spare warm clothing. Take your vehicle to be serviced for winter. Be sure to check all fluid levels and that your tires can handle the snow and ice. During the first storm of the season, drive carefully to an empty parking lot and practice your winter driving skills. Remind yourself of how your car turns and stops in the snow.
- Winterize Your Home
Make sure your furnace is working well before it turns cold. If you use a fireplace, have your chimney cleaned at the end of the summer. Inspect your water lines and add some heat tape to those that may be exposed to freezing temperatures. Check and clean your gutters and determine the snow load on roof limit. Consider alternate heat sources in case the power goes out.
- Stock Up Your Pantry
Do you have enough food and supplies for a few days or longer? Don’t be part of the crowd buying water and toilet paper as the storm is rolling in. Have supplies and canned food on hand that can be prepared if you can’t shop for a few days. Plan to store at least one gallon of water per person per day. In emergency situations, you will need water to drink, to prepare food and to wash. Keep extra diapers, feminine hygiene supplies, toilet paper and first aid supplies. Have flashlights with extra batteries and candles in a handy place.
- Consider Health Preparations
The best way to avoid cold and flu season is to build your immune system in advance. Eat plenty of green, leafy vegetables and avoid sugary treats. Boosting your nutrition, exercise and sleep can strengthen your ability to combat illness. If you do get sick, stay home so you don’t share your symptoms with others.
- Be Careful Outside
Prepare your home exterior by removing any obstacles on your steps or sidewalks. Clear any snow as soon as possible and be careful as you walk. Make sure to dress warmly when you go outside and keep your phone with you.
Be prepared and you can enjoy that first snowfall from inside and outside your home.