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Don't Be Left In The Cold, Prepare Now For Winter Weather
Updated November 19, 2015 7:37 AM | Filed under: Weather
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(UNDATED) - The holiday season is near, which means winter weather is not far behind. With the chance for parts of the state to see at least flurries this weekend, it's time for Hoosiers to consider preparing for the upcoming winter.

"Year after year, Indiana deals with winter storms that can bring dangerous snow, ice and cold," said John Erickson, director of public information for the Indiana Department of Homeland Security. "Now is the time to make sure homes and vehicles are ready for winter. Taking action now can lessen and even prevent costly damage."

Erickson recommends cleaning gutters now before snow and ice build-up. If gutters are clogged while ice and snow are thawing, water can back up under the roof and eaves, causing water damage inside the house. Consider buying screens to keep gutters debris-free.

Hoosiers should also consider removing dead branches from nearby trees. The added weight of ice and snow, along with winds, may cause limbs to snap and damage property.

Homeowner's insurance policy should be reviewed to ensure coverage is adequate for the type of weather that regularly occurs in the area. Identify what is excluded from the policy.

With November 15-21 observed as Winter Weather Preparedness Week, all residents should consider using this week to create or maintain a preparedness kit that can help during winter storms:

  • Food and water for three days, including one gallon of water per person, per day
  • Battery or hand crank all hazards (weather) radio
  • Flashlight
  • Extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Extra clothing, sturdy shoes, blankets and personal hygiene items
  • List of emergency phone numbers
  • Copies of important documents (photo ID, social security card, etc.)
  • Cash in small bills (Power outages can limit use of ATMs and credit cards.)
  • Special items based on specific needs (baby formula, extra medication, etc.)

Winter weather preparedness week is also a good time to make a car readiness kit. These kits should include:

  • At least two blankets or a sleeping bag
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Jumper cables
  • Emergency flares
  • Extra clothing, including boots, hats and gloves
  • Shovel
  • Bottled water and non-perishable food
  • First aid kit and necessary medication
  • Sand or non-clumping cat litter for tire traction
  • Cell phone and charger for vehicle use
  • Ice scraper and snow brush

For more information on being ready for winter weather, visit

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