Be Prepared For Winter with Our Car and Home Winter Checklist!

Winter has officially arrived! Don’t get left out in the cold this year, make sure you’re prepared for the bad weather when it comes.

Be prepared this winter by following the checklist below!

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Prepare Your Car: There are several things you can do to ensure your car operates properly during the winter months.

_ Have a mechanic check your battery, brakes, lights including hazards, exhaust system and if you are due for an oil change make sure to ask for an oil that performs and protects your engine in the cold weather.
_ Top off your windshield wiper fluid with de-icer.
_ Replace your everyday tires with snow tires.
_ Pack a box of supplies: small shovel, snow brush, ice scraper, extra wiper fluid, kitty litter or sand for extra weight and traction if you get stuck, flashlight, flares, first aid kit, blanket, warm clothes including gloves, phone charger, non-perishable snacks.
_ Make sure your gas tank is full to prevent your fuel line from freezing.

Prepare Your Home: Prepare your home for whatever old man winter has in store for this year.

_ Have your heating company clean and maintenance your boiler or furnace to make sure it is functioning properly.
_ If you know a storm is coming, check your oil and schedule a delivery if necessary. You don’t want to run out of oil in the middle of a cold winter night.
_ Test your snow blower to make sure it does not need to be serviced.
_ Clean your chimney, dirty chimneys can catch fire and cause structural damage and destroy homes.
_ If you have a fireplace or pellet stove, consider keeping a supply of wood or pellets. And be sure that your fireplace or stove is properly vented and in good working order.  
_ Make sure your gutters are clear to allow melting snow and ice to flow freely.
_ Protect your pipes by wrapping any exposed water supply lines to keep them from freezing.
_ Make sure your home is properly insulated by caulking and weather-stripping your doors and windows to keep the cold air out.
_ Swap out screens for storm windows and doors.
_ Have an emergency charging option for your cell phone (car or solar option) in case of a power outage.
_ Keep a small stockpile the basics such as water, toilet paper and non-perishable items. Once people know a storm is coming these items fly off the shelves.  
_ Don’t forget the snow melt or salt to prevent ice from forming on your stairs or walkways.
_ Replace the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. And don’t forget to check and make sure that your fire extinguisher is in working order.
_ If you plan on using a space heater this winter, make sure it is plugged directly into the wall and not into an extension cord and unplug it when not in use.
_ Consider a portable generator for the inevitable day in the dead of winter when the power goes out. With a generator you will be able to use a backup heating source (space heater), keep appliances and everyday necessities like cellphones running and make sure the lights are on. Click Here to see the list of generators available for rent.

Follow the Red Cross’ generator safety tips to avoid home fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.