Mother Nature is about to take us on a roller coaster ride of snow, wind, and extreme cold, so now's the time to prep your house and car, before the storm hits.

We're experienced Mainers, who have been through bad storms before. But this storm threatens to not only dump a lot of snow, but also to drop temperatures into the sub-zero range again. That means we could lose power with the wind and snow portion of the storm, and then have to endure extreme, dangerous cold weather conditions as we wait for the heat to come back on.

The Maine Emergency Management Agency offered some tips for surviving the storm at home:

  • Make sure you have plenty of food and water (including pet food) to last for several days
  • Have a potential loss of power plan
  • Make sure you have a way to travel
  • Have plenty of batteries
  • Make sure you have enough medications to last a week
  • Plan now for how you'll get information and have extra batteries for radios, etc.
  • Charge up your cellphone and electronics now
  • If you're homebound, have a backup plan for receiving food and care

With the possibility of blizzard-like conditions, it's also important to prepare your car, in the event that you might get stuck and have to wait for assistance. MEMA suggests outfitting your vehicle with an emergency pack, including the following items:

  • A shovel
  • Windshield scraper and small broom
  • Flashlight
  • Battery Powered radio
  • Extra batteries
  • Bottled water
  • Snack food
  • Matches
  • Extra hat, socks,and mittens
  • First aid kit with pocket knife and medications
  • Blanket
  • Tow chain or rope
  • Road salt and sand
  • Booster cables
  • Emergency flares
  • Fluorescent distress flag

It's also a good idea to keep your cellphone handy, when traveling, in a secure place like a coat pocket. Leaving it on the console between the seats or in your pocketbook means it may get knocked out of your reach if the car skids off the road.

Finally, remember all the safe winter driving tips. Slow down, give yourself plenty of time to stop, and don't tailgate. Call ahead to your destination to make sure it's open. And stay home if you can!

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