Winter is coming! With its unpredictable weather and holiday heavy calendar, it’s a magical time of year that puts good preparation in the spotlight. To soften the race with cold weather, we’ve assembled a short list of things you can do to get your family ready for a safe and jolly season.

Get A Flu Shot

There are many wonderful things to enjoy during the onset of winter and suffering from an illness is not one of them. Flu season coincides with the colder months and the best way to protect your family from it is to get a flu shot every year. It is widely recommended that everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine before the beginning of each flu season, with some exceptions. Many hospitals and pharmacies hold flu vaccine clinics to make it a fast and convenient process.

Winter Wear Inventory

Those brisk mornings are a reminder that sweater season is on its way. This is a great time for each family member to take stock of what clothing items they have that will need to be worn in the upcoming months. Do a quick inventory of heavy coats, hats, gloves, boots, and any other type of gear that will be needed to brave the weather. This is also a great opportunity to do a little “spring cleaning” and donate any pieces that are no longer needed or outgrown. If you’ve got extra winter wear that isn’t useful to you any longer, local charities assisting houseless or struggling neighbors are always welcomed.

Home Inspections

One of the first things we think of when preparing for wintery days is how to stay warm. Your home and its systems are on the front lines when it comes to protecting you and your belongings, so this is a good time to give them a little TLC. Schedule time to do thorough inspections on your furnace and any other type of heating system you have. Check the filters, clean out the vents, and make sure there are no cracks or leaks. A heater repair is the last thing you want to face when the first big snowstorm hits. Likewise, you’ll want to do the same for your roof, and plumbing system to avoid any cold weather catastrophes.

Vehicle Inspection

The roads in winter are treacherous enough without having to worry about your vehicle breaking down. Make sure you are up-to-date on all scheduled maintenance for your car, truck, or SUV. Check fluid levels, brakes, and tires to avoid any issues while you’re out and about. It’s also a good idea to keep an emergency kit in your trunk with jumper cables, a first-aid kit, and snacks. You’ll be prepared for whatever the wintery road conditions might bring your way.

Winterize The Yard

Your yard work isn’t quite done when the leaves start to fall. As temperatures drop, it’s important to take care of your outdoor space to prevent any damage that might occur from freezing weather. Drain and store any hoses or sprinklers that won’t be used until spring. If you have a pool, make sure to properly close it for the season. Many plants will need to be trimmed back and brought inside to avoid dying in the cold. Finally, don’t forget about your pets! Bring their bedding and toys indoors and make sure they have a warm place to sleep.

With advanced planning, your family will be all set to enjoy a worry-free winter season! Now all you have to worry about is pulling out the sled and making sure there’s plenty of hot cocoa and marshmallows!

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