Winter is Coming…Time to Prepare!

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In Wisconsin winter is inevitable, however most of us try not to think too much about the cold and snow during our last few weeks of warmth.  Unfortunately, we cannot avoid winter and now is the time to ready your home and vehicle for the weather to come. Below are a few ways to prepare for winter.

Is Your Vehicle Winter Ready? 

Check or have a mechanic check the following items on your car:

  • Antifreeze levels
  • Battery and ignition system
  • Exhaust system
  • Fuel and air filters
  • Heater and defroster
  • Lights and flashing hazard lights
  • Oil
  • Thermostat
  • Windshield wiper equipment
  • Install good winter tires

Minimize travel, but if travel is necessary, keep the following in your vehicle:

  • Cell phone, portable charger, and extra batteries
  • Shovel
  • Windshield scraper
  • Battery-powered radio with extra batteries
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Water
  • Snack food
  • Extra hats, coats, and mittens
  • Blankets or sleeping bags
  • Chains or rope
  • Tire chains
  • Canned compressed air with sealant for emergency tire repair
  • Road salt and sand
  • Battery jumper cables
  • Emergency flares
  • Bright colored flag or help signs
  • First aid kit
  • Tool kit
  • Road maps
  • Compass
  • Waterproof matches and a can to melt snow for water
  • Paper towels

Winterize your home

  • Extend the life of your fuel supply by insulating walls and attics, caulking and weather-stripping doors and windows, and installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic.
  • Prepare your house, barn, shed or any other structure that may provide shelter for your family, neighbors, livestock or equipment. Clear rain gutters; repair roof leaks and cut away tree branches that could fall on a house or other structure during a storm.
  • Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected every year.
  • Insulate pipes with insulation or newspapers and plastic and if needed allow faucets to drip a little during cold weather to avoid freezing. Running water, even at a trickle, helps prevent pipes from freezing.
  • All fuel-burning equipment should be vented to the outside and kept clear.
  • Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure everyone in your house knows how to use them. House fires pose an additional risk, as more people turn to alternate heating sources without taking the necessary safety precautions.
  • Learn how to shut off water valves (in case a pipe bursts).
  • Hire a contractor to check the structural ability of the roof to sustain unusually heavy weight from the accumulation of snow - or water, if drains on flat roofs do not work.

Get involved!

Whether you work in a health field or not, if you have an interest in assisting your community or state during a health crisis, we invite you to register in Wisconsin Emergency Assistance Volunteer Registry (WEAVR). To sign up please visit: https://weavrwi.org/.