If you wait until the next big storm hits to prep your home for winter, you might end up in the cold. Now is the perfect time to prepare your house for inclement weather. If you’re looking for a good place to start, here are six ways to make sure your home is equipped to handle anything winter brings your way.

1. Stock Up On Supplies
Make sure you have plenty of blankets, batteries, flashlights and other essentials on hand before the storm arrives. The American Red Cross recommends having at least a three-day supply of food and water and a seven-day supply of necessary medications for all people and pets in your household. Other suggested items include:

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  • First aid kit
  • Cell phones and extra chargers
  • Extra cash
  • Family and emergency contact information
  • Copies of personal documents (medication lists, insurance policies, etc.)
  • Tools/supplies for securing your home
  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items
  • Sand, rock salt or non-clumping kitty litter (to make walkways and steps less slippery)
    2. Trim Branches Back

If there are branches positioned to fall on your home, you’ll want to trim them back before the first snowfall of the season. Branches that are in the vicinity of power lines on your property should only be cut or trimmed by a professional. Having this done before the snow comes can help prevent power outages.

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3. Weatherproof Your Windows
If you have older, misaligned or single-paned windows, you’re probably paying more than is necessary to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. That’s because warm air escapes through the space around the windows, so your HVAC system has to work harder to keep your house warm.

You might find that installing energy-efficient, double-paned windows makes a noticeable difference in cutting down on energy costs, particularly during the colder months of the year. If heat is escaping from around your windows but not necessarily through them, you might just need a bit of caulk or weather stripping. This can be a simple DIY job or a task better handled by a handyman, depending on the extent of weatherproofing required.

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