Take advantage of our sunny autumn days to inspect your home. Clean out the gutters and downspouts, repair roof leaks, check storm doors and windows. Inspect your heating system and have it serviced, test the generator, make sure your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors have fresh batteries. Think about having an alternate heating source that is safe to use indoors, and have extra fuel.
If you spend a fair amount of time in your vehicle, prepare it for storm season as well. Service your vehicle this fall, perhaps changing the tires to all-weather or snow tires. Keep a winter/storm emergency kit in the vehicle in case you become stranded or break down. Consider carrying a tote with water, flares, rain gear, hand warmers, a warm blanket or sleeping bag, flashlight, snacks, and extra dry clothes. A charged cell phone and emergency contact numbers are a good idea also.
Our hardware stores and grocery stores frequently have sales on camping equipment, outdoor gear, and canned food items, so this is a great time to stock up. Check out the ads in the paper. Plan to stock up on canned goods and dry foods such as rice, pasta, and beans that store well. Rotate the goods throughout the winter. While you are shopping pick up a NOAA weather radio, extra batteries, a first aid kit, and pet supplies.
American Preparedness- 888-431-4511, www.AmericanPreparedness.com
PrepareSmart- 425-881-5354, www.preparesmart.com
Resources: Pacific County Emergency Management Agency (PCEMA) 875-9340; American Red Cross- www.redcross.org; National Weather Service- www.nws.noaa.gov; Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)- 800-480-2520/www.fema.gov; Be Ready Campaign- www.ready.gov.