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Just hearing the words Snowmageddon and Polar Vortex are enough to send shivers down the spines of many in the Midwest. With winter weather running the gamut from  unseasonably warm to full-fledged blizzard, and everything in between, it helps to be prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws at us. Check out these 5 winter weather preparedness tips to stay safe and warm this winter:

Winter Weather Preparedness - A two-story home in a snow and ice storm.

Winter Weather Preparedness Tip #1:

Know the lingo. The National Weather Service keeps an eye on developing weather patterns and issues advisories, watches and warnings as warranted – check out what type of weather you can expect by each official term.

If you don’t already own a weather radio you may want to consider purchasing one and a package of AA batteries to help get you through the worst winter weather. Plus it’s always good to have during severe weather season.

Winter Weather Preparedness Tip #2:

Prep your vehicle before snow begins to fly and temperatures plummet below zero. Now’s a good time to have your tires, brakes and battery inspected and replaced if needed, top off fluids and fill up your gas tank.

It’s also a good idea to keep a winter survival kit that includes items like blankets, bottled water, snow boots, a flashlight, battery chargers, etc. in the backseat or trunk of your vehicle. And make sure your mobile device is fully charged before heading out, just in case you need it.

Concerned your vehicle won’t make it through another Chicago winter? DuPage Credit Union offers low-rate financing on new and used vehicles and free car buying tools to help you get the most for your money.

Winter Weather Preparedness- Slow moving traffic on a busy interstate during a snow storm.

Winter Weather Preparedness Tip #3:

The average annual snowfall in Chicago is 36 inches – that’s three feet of snow! Be ready for approaching snow storms by making sure your snow blower is in working condition and gassed up and that you have plenty of salt for your driveway and sidewalks.

If you don’t own a snow blower, take extra precaution shoveling snow, especially the wet and heavy variety, to avoid back injuries and heart attacks. Better yet, ask neighbors to help out.

Winter Weather Preparedness - Shoveling snow from the street sidewalk after a blizzard.

Winter Weather Preparedness Tip #4:

Avoid expensive repairs by having your furnace checked out before it goes on the fritz. Along with keeping you toasty on a cold winter’s night, a working and efficient furnace helps keep your pipes from freezing and heating costs down. And don’t forget to winterize the rest of your home to help cut energy costs and keep problems at bay.

Winter Weather Preparedness Tip #5:

Although your pets may enjoy playing in the snow, they can get frostbite and hypothermia just like us. On bitter days let them out for very short periods of time – always keeping an eye on them – it doesn’t take long to get frostbit on a sub-zero day. You’ll be keeping them safe while obeying the law.

Winter Weather Preparedness - A German Shepard Husky mix dog sitting outside in a snow storm wearing a scarf.

Winter Weather Preparedness Bonus Tip:

Don’t leave your finances out in the cold. Be prepared for everything Old Man Winter dishes out with our low, fixed-rate personal loan – perfect for financing a new furnace, snow blower or set of snow tires. And great for consolidating debt too!

Do you have other tips to help prepare for winter weather? If so, please share:







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