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Preparing for the harsh winter weather

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With winter fast approaching and the air getting colder while the nights are getting darker, the time has come to get ready for chilly times.

Winter is cold and flu season, so keeping warm is a must. It won’t necessarily prevent getting sick, but it will help you feel more comfortable. Get the warm blankets, jackets, hats, beanies, scarves, gloves or mittens, long johns, and other warm clothing items out of storage. Keep clothing items in a place that is easy to get to in case the power goes out and you have no lighting in the home. Children and pets can especially become cold in the winter months with no heat. Since heat easily escapes through the head, it is important for all people, especially small children, to wear warm hats to hold in body heat to avoid hypothermia.

Get a good heater. One without coils is preferable if you have young children. A source of heat in case of a power outage is a must in the winter months. Propane heaters are a popular heater in case of emergencies; remember to vent well any areas where propane or other non electric heaters are used.

Lainey1 / Flickr

Keep flashlights and good batteries handy in case of emergencies or power outage. Candles are a must, so keep candles, lighters and matches easy to access, but be aware of fire hazards. If the weather is too severe, emergency responders may not be able to reach you.

Stock up on non-perishables. Canned food, frozen fruits, oatmeal and peanut butter are just a few items you could get. Bottled water is another essential part of supplies. If nothing else, water is a must in case of emergency. Purchase extra water and keep on hand with food supplies just in case weather or icy roads means stores cannot be reached. It is also good to stock up on pet food if you have pets.

Small cook stoves or barbeques will work for preparing meals in case of power outages; this is best done outdoors due to the odors and fumes from the stoves.

Get your vehicle winter ready. Anti-freeze is a must. Keeping an ice scraper in the car is a good idea for late nights or early mornings when windows will ice over. Extra blankets, jackets, gloves, scarves, beanies or hats and flashlights with good batteries should be stored in the trunk just in case of emergencies.