Introduction:I can feel the icy winds practicing already. In areas where it gets cold, you really need to prepare and get ready for winter. It might not be obvious for those who are new to frigid winters, but you need to do a lot while the weather is still warm enough in order to have a safe, relaxing winter season.
Mentally prepare to wake up early each morning if your car is outside, in order to scrape the windshield well with your ice scraper before going anywhere in the morning. Get your antifreeze level checked. Make sure your all weather tires have plenty of good tread to drive on slippery roads. Store a blanket, food, and water in the car, in case you get stranded in a snow drift.
Make sure the gutters are all in good working order to help avoid dangerous icicles from building up. Make sure your home is insulated well, especially under the roof. Wrap heat tape around gutters and on pipes under sinks. Put down the storm windows, and get the storm doors ready. Stock up on canned soup, and bottled water in case you get snowed in. Bring in plenty of fire wood, and drape an afghan over the back of the couch.
Buy some good long underwear. Pick out a waterproof, insulated coat. Get a hat, scarf, and several pairs of mittens and gloves. Have snow boots handy. Use wool socks, because they keep their insulating power even if wet. Consider getting some ice grippers that you put onto the bottoms of your shes to avoid nasty spills on ice.
Before the first frost, pot and bring in any plants that aren't hardy and you want to save over the winter. Geraniums do quite well inside on a sunny windowsill all winter. Chop down and dispose of plants in the garden. Clean up your beds, so they'll be ready for next spring's planting.
Stock up on non-perishable food and water in case of a bad winter storm that keeps you housebound. Keep a hand cranked radio and hand cranked flashlights handy, as well as candles and matches. keep an alternative heat source or generator in case the power goes out. Read and heed all the directions, so you know how to use the heat sources safely.
I live in Pennsylvania, where we get a nice dose of cold, snowy weather each winter season. After growing up in California, I was surprised at everything that had to be done to prepare ahead of time for the winter.
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