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Prepare your home and car for winter conditions.

When your local weather forecaster warns of an upcoming snow storm, you can expect the grocery stores to be packed with shoppers purchasing necessities such as milk and bread. Winter storms can keep us homebound for a few hours or a few days so it's important to prepare ahead to stay safe.

Stay safe and warm at home

With some preparation, you can be comfortable at home while the wind and snow are blowing outside. Purchase extra water and nonperishable foods in case you cannot leave your home, and keep a cellphone charged so you can communicate with loved ones.

In the fall months, schedule a maintenance visit for your furnace to make sure it is working properly, and install storm windows and weather stripping to keep the warm air in. Have a back-up plan such as an electric space heater in case it is needed. If you have a fireplace, make sure you have plenty of firewood.

Prepare your car for bad weather

Although it is advised to stay indoors when the roads are icy, there are times when it's necessary to travel in your car. Prepare your car for winter conditions by making sure your windshield fluids, radiator, and transmission fluids are full. Check the treads on all tires, and, if necessary, replace them. It's also a good idea to fill your gas tank before a storm approaches.

Most importantly, keep an emergency kit in your car in case you become stranded. The kit should include:

  • Bags of sand or cat litter for traction
  • Batteries
  • Battery-powered radio
  • Blankets
  • Booster cables
  • First-aid kit
  • Flares
  • Flash light
  • Food and water
  • Portable phone charger
  • Tire pump
Additional health and wellness information
If you're a Highmark member, you have access to a secure, members-only website that provides information about winterizing your home and car.

To access your Highmark member website, select the service region noted on your member ID card. After logging in, select the "Wellness" tab and type "winter" in the search field. For more information on your Highmark member website, read How to Register on Your Highmark Member Website.