Don’t let winter catch you unprepared

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Winter is coming, and if you do not get ready, it can come back to bite you in the butt. Be sure to keep the following tips in mind for the coming weeks.

Before the weather gets too cold, make sure the heater in your house or apartment is working properly. If it is not, get it checked by your maintenance guy. In the meantime, have some blankets and hoodies ready; they will come in handy if your heater breaks down. They are also good for snuggling with some hot chocolate.

Get used to checking the weather report regularly so you know how to dress for the day. Looking out the window in the winter does not cut it; clear and sunny usually means “cold” while cloudy is typically warmer. The weather report is not always accurate, but it at least gives you a close representation.

When in doubt, wear layers. A light jacket under a coat is great for outside, and then you can shed the coat for inside the warm buildings.

Get your car checked out to make sure it is ready for the coming conditions. If your tires are balding, get them replaced. You will not need winter tires around here, but tread is vital.

Make sure that your windshield wipers are working well as you will need them when the snow comes. Brakes and heaters are also important for winter vehicle use.

The Red Cross suggests that you keep your gas tank full to help prevent the fuel line from freezing.

A snowbrush is not essential, though it makes life much easier. You will, however, need an ice scraper— conveniently, it often comes connected to the brush. Just in case, it is nice to have battery booster cables for those unfortunate instances when your car will not start. says that if you spray a solution of three-parts white distilled vinegar to one-part water on your windows to sit overnight, your windows will remain frost-free.

Put together a winter emergency preparedness kit to keep in your car. Things to include are a shovel, blanket, flashlight with extra batteries, first aid kit, some snacks and other similar items. Keep a list of people to contact in case of an emergency handy just in case your cell phone dies or is out of service.

If you do not normally let someone know your schedule, do so for the winter weather. You never know what could happen and when you will need someone to worry about you.

Driving in snow is not too bad. Just be cautious and smart. “Stay alert; slow down; and stay in control,” is the advice gives about driving in snow and ice.

Give yourself extra time to get to school, work or other destinations; there may be an accident or bad road conditions.

Speed up and brake slowly so that your tires have a chance to get a grip on the road. Start breaking farther away than you normally would so you have room in case you cannot stop in time.

If you start to slide, steer in the direction of the slide until you gain control.

Find more winter preparedness and winter driving tips at,,, and