The temperatures have dropped and in a few weeks, it will be officially winter. So, you need to start preparing your home, your family, and belongings now for the frozen temperatures that are on their way.

Here are some tips on how to prepare your family and home for winter weather:

Prepare for Flu and Cold Season

Now is the time to strengthen your immune system to help you ward off a cold or the flu. Make sure you’re eating lots of fruits and vegetables, avoiding processed foods when you can, drinking lots of water, taking your vitamins, and getting enough sleep.

If you feel a cold coming on, you can try and fight it off with supplements like Emergen-C or Airborne which are immunity boosters and help you to naturally defend yourself against sickness. You’ll also want to dress warmly, try and avoid close contact with people who are sick, wash your hand frequently and properly, and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

Some people also consider getting a flu shot. If you’re one of those people then now is the time to get your flu shot.

Guard Your Mental Health

The winter months can bring on what is known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) which is a type of depression that occurs in the late fall and early winter caused by a lack of sunshine and reduced daylight hours, cabin fever, and colder weather.

SAD can cause low energy, sadness, lack of interest, feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness or guilt, weight gain, oversleeping, and appetite changes.

Some people use light therapy, medication, therapy, exercise, meditation, and music or art to overcome SAD. So, you may want to consider a regime that will keep you healthy and happy over the winter months.

Stock Up On Indoor Items

Make sure your house is stocked up with things you’ll need to have in your in case that the power goes out or weather prevents you from leaving your home such as:

  • blankets
  • firewood if you have a fireplace and a battery operated a fan to blow the heat from the fireplace around your home
  • candles, flashlights, lanterns, and extra batteries
  • gas operated generator and extra gas (if you can’t do without electricity and need machinery to survive)
  • gas operated or space heater
  • toilet paper
  • extra medication to last you a few days
  • water and non-perishable food
  • battery-operated radio

Stock Up on Outdoor Items

The costs for these items can skyrocket when they are in high demand or can become out of stock. Here are some things you’ll need to have in your home for the coming winter:

  • sand, salt or snow melt
  • shovels
  • rakes
  • snowblower
  • snow brushes/scrapers

Does It Work?

You’ll want to make sure that things like your generators and snow blowers are in proper working order and have extra gas or batteries or whatever else they need to work. You can find yourself S.O.L. if you wait until you need these items only to find out they aren’t working or that you ran out of gas.

Slowly Condition Your Home for the Lower Temperatures

You don’t want to just start jacking up the heat because it can cost you lots of money on your heating bill. Try lowering the temperature in your home by one degree each day so that your body gets used to it and wear a sweatshirt in between if you get too cold. This will help your body adjust and prevent you from just cranking the heat all the way up.

Cover Up and Insulate

Make sure you are covering up anyplace that could cause a draft or allow critters in that are seeking warm shelter. Use plastic wrap, weather stripping, grout or whatever you need to seal, cover up, or insulate your windows, holes, cracks, vents, doors and whatever else.

Don’t Let Your Pipes Freeze

Empty out your sprinklers systems, winterize and insulate your outdoor faucets and water lines, drain air conditioner pipes, and know how to shut-off your water values when and where you need to. You’ll also need to prepare your pool for the winter so it doesn’t freeze over, expand, and destroy its foundation.

Check Your Roof and Gutters

Have a professional check the structural integrity of your roof. Snow is heavy and can cause your roof to cave in if it isn’t sound. You’ll also want to make sure you replace any shingles or anything else that can cause a leak.

Also, make sure your gutters are properly cleared out so that rain and melting snow can properly flow through them and away from your home.

Prepare Your Car

Just like your home, you’ll have to prepare your car for winter by checking up on the brakes, adding antifreeze, changing tires, making sure your windshield wipers work well and taking other precautions.

Prepare Your Pets

You’ll definitely want to check with your vet first, but here are a few tips that should keep your pet safe during the winter.

  • Pets should not be kept outside in the cold weather for long periods of time. So, you’ll want to take them out on shorter and maybe more frequent walks or spurts where they are outside.
  • Make sure you get deicer or salt melt that is pet-friendly because many of them can hurt your pet’s paws. You can also try getting them to wear booties to protect their feet. Make sure their feet are clean and dry when they come inside.
  • Ask your vet if you should adjust their diet. They may be burning more calories playing out in the show.
  • You may also want to get your pet a coat or a sweater to keep warmer.